Galileo: For Copernicanism and for the Church / Edition 2

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Considered the paradigm case of the troubled interaction between science and religion, the conflict between Galileo and the Church continues to generate new research and lively debate. Richard J. Blackwell here offers a fresh approach to the Galileo case using as his primary focus the biblical and ecclesiastical issues that were the battleground for the celebrated confrontation. Blackwell's research in the Vatican manuscript collection and the Jesuit archives in Rome enables him to re-create a vivid picture of the trends and counter-trends that influenced leading Catholic thinkers of the period: the conservative reaction to the Reformation, the role of authority in biblical exegesis and in guarding orthodoxy from the inroads of "unbridled spirits," and the position taken by Cardinal Bellarmine and the Jesuits in attempting to weigh the discoveries of the new science in the context of traditional philosophy and theology. A centerpiece of Blackwell's investigation is his careful reading of the brief treatise Letter on the Motion of the Earth by Paolo Antonio Foscarini, a Carmelite scholar, arguing for the compatibility of the Copernican system with the Bible. Blackwell appends the first modern translation into English of this important and neglected document, which was placed on the Index of Forbidden Books in 1616. Though there were differing and competing theories of biblical interpretation advocated in Galileo's time, the legacy of the Council of Trent, the views of Cardinal Bellarmine, the most influential churchman of his time, and, finally, the claims of authority and obedience that weakened the ability of Jesuit scientists to support the new science, all contributed to the eventual condemnation of Galileo in 1633. Blackwell argues convincingly that the maintenance of ecclesiastical authority, not the scientific issues themselves, led to that tragic trial.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780268010324
  • Publisher: University of Notre Dame Press
  • Publication date: 9/28/1994
  • Series: Studi Galileiani Series
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 567
  • Product dimensions: 6.50 (w) x 9.46 (h) x 1.47 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction 1
Ch. 1 Trent and Beyond 5
The Fourth Session of the Council of Trent
The Theological Repercussions of the Fourth Session
Copernicanism and Sixteenth-Century Astronomy
Ch. 2 Bellarmine's Views Before the Galileo Affair 29
The Truth and Meaning of the Scriptures
Bellarmine's Biblical Cosmology
Bellarmine's Role in the Bruno Trial
The Resolution of the Controversy over Grace and Free Will
Ch. 3 Galileo's Detour into Biblical Exegesis 53
Blocking the Path of Inquiry
Galileo's Initial Response
The Shadow of Heresy
Galileo's Final Response
Ch. 4 Foscarini's Bombshell 87
Science and Scripture in the Lettera
Mate, Checkmate, and Tobias's Dog
Ch. 5 The Bible at Galileo's Trial 111
The Origin of the Charges against Copernicanism
The Verdict and the Decree
The Order to Obey
The Bible in the Courtroom
Ch. 6 The Jesuit Dilemma: Truth or Obedience 135
Solid and Uniform Doctrine
The Jesuit Tradition on Obedience
Biancani's Battle with the Jesuit Censors
The Onset of Intellectual Rigor Mortis
Ch. 7 Reflections on Truth in Science and in Religion 165
Science and the Bible
Religious Faith and the Logic of Authority
Appendix I: Decrees of the Council of Trent, Session IV (8 April 1546) 181
Appendix II: Diego de Zuniga, Commentary on Job 9:6 (1584) 185
Appendix III: Bellarmine, De controversiis de verbo Dei I, I, 3, 3 (1586) 187
Appendix IV: Galileo's Letter to Castelli (21 December 1613) 195
Appendix V: The Galileo-Dini Correspondence 203
A Galileo to Dini (16 February 1615)
B Dini to Galileo (7 March 1615)
C Galileo to Dini (23 March 1615)
Appendix VI: Foscarini's Letter (6 January 1615) 217
Appendix VII: The Censor's Report and Foscarini's Reply 253
A An Unidentified Theologian's Censure of Foscarini's Letter (1615)
B Foscarini's Defense of the Letter (1615)
Appendix VIII: Bellarmine's Letter to Foscarini (12 April 1615) 265
Appendix IX: Galileo's Unpublished Notes (1615) 269
A On Bellarmine's Letter to Foscarini
B On the Relations of Science and Scripture
Bibliography 277
Index 287
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