Between 1981 and 1992, a commission established by Pope John Paul II investigated the theological, scientific, legal and cultural issues related to the so-called "Galileo affair." While the commission's report acknowledged the Church's failure to deal effectively with Copernicanism
and Galileo's work, McMullin argues that the historical accuracy of the report fell short of what most scholars would expect.
In the midst of these disputes, theological objections to Copernicanism
were raised, in part to skewer Galileo.
But for its physical thought it seems today a minor and relatively uninteresting little book--unless Pietro Redondi could be right in his recent (but generally disputed) proposal that Galileo's discussion of atomism here was in some people's eyes even more heretical than his Copernicanism
Feyerabend's paradigmatic historical example of counterinduction is Galileo's use of the seemingly unreliable telescope to support anomaly-ridden Copernicanism
and thus to confound the Ptolemaists.
Aristotelian natural philosophy, Bellarmine, Clavius, Copernicanism
, Galileo Commission, Roman College
Chapters one and two are focused on theological issues and epistemological issues, while the third through sixth chapters detail the prohibition of Copernicanism
, assimilation of the prohibition, the condemnation of Galileo, and the implementation of his sentence.
On February 26, 1616, in the presence of Cardinal Bellarmine, Galileo was served an injunction issued by the Holy Office demanding that he abandon his defense of Copernicanism
, "nor henceforth to hold, teach or defend in any way, either verbally or in writing" the heliocentric view of the universe.
What Remmert shows, however, is that Clavius, as the most authoritative Catholic astronomer of his day, had been using scriptural passages to combat Copernicanism
since the first edition of his In sphaeram Ioannis de Sacro Bosco commentarius of 1570--a fact alluded to on the Opera's title page--and that subsequent exegetes often rested their interpretations of the same biblical texts on Clavius's geocentric astronomy.
(7) The first trial in 1615 focused primarily on the scientific, philosophical, and theological issues concerning Copernicanism
while the second trial was concerned primarily with whether Galileo had violated the terms of the agreement negotiated by Cardinal Bellarmine, who unfortunately died years before the second trial.
In "Part One: The Storm Gathers," two essays focus on the hornet's nest of post-Reformation exegetical principles, theological commitments, and in-house disagreements between the Jesuit, Dominican, and Augustinian Orders that would eventually produce the Church's 1616 condemnation of Copernicanism
. In "Part Two: The Storm Breaks," seven essays carefully survey the sociopolitical nuts and theological bolts of the Galileo Affair proper.
Reading these texts together as a whole allows the reader to gain an awareness of the rhetorical style and form of reasoning used to support and to refute Copernicanism
. From these excerpts, the reader comes to appreciate the relationship between the gradual acceptance of Copernicanism
and the rising status of mathematics and mathematicians among European leaders.
Hence H.'s work is concerned largely with the reception of Copernicanism