Cover

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Title Page, Copyright, Epigraph, Dedication

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pp. i-vi

Contents

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pp. vii-viii

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Preface

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pp. ix-x

This book has gradually grown out of the author's curiosity over the following question: At the time of the Galileo affair, what was the intellectual ground occupied by serious Catholic thinkers who stood, as it were, on the other side of the fence from Galileo...

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Introduction

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pp. 1-4

The Piazza della Minerva in Rome is located immediately behind the left side of Hadrian's monumental Pantheon. It derives its name from a temple built on this site in Roman times and dedicated to Minerva, the goddess of wisdom, of war, and of the practical arts...

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1. Trent and Beyond

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pp. 5-28

Nicholas Copemicus's De revolutionibus orbium coelestium was first published in May 1543. Tradition has it that the first copy arrived in Copemicus's hands on 24 May, the day he died. Two and a half years later, in December 1545, the First Session of the Council...

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2. Bellarmine’s Views Before the Galileo Affair

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pp. 29-52

As we have seen, during the half century after Trent the decisions of the council were gradually integrated into the Catholic mind-set. No one was more active and more prominent in this process than Robert Cardinal Bellarmine (1542-1621). By the turn of...

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3. Galileo’s Detour into Biblical Exegesis

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pp. 53-86

The timing of the central events involved in the Church's condemnation of Copernicanism in 1616 is quite peculiar. For the first seventy years after the publication of Copernicus's book in 1543 the institutional Church expressed no official concern. Some of the...

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4. Foscarini’s Bombshell

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pp. 87-110

The early months of 1615 were trying times for Galileo and his circle of friends. The flow of events was not in their favor. Although Lorini's complaint about Copemicanism had been dismissed by the Holy Office, it had the effect of sharpening sensitivities in official...

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5. The Bible at Galileo’s Trial

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pp. 111-134

Galileo's trial was an immensely complex affair. To fully understand it one would need to examine the trial and its antecedents at many levels: the scientific, theological, and philosophical issues involved, the legal basis and procedural rules which governed it, the...

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6. The Jesuit Dilemma: Truth or Obedience

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pp. 135-164

Let us return to the year 1614, a time when Galileo and the Jesuits were still on very amicable terms. In June of that year Christopher Grienberger, S.J. (1561-1636), who had succeeded Clavius as Professor of Mathematics at the Collegio Romano, invited Galileo's...

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7. Reflections on Truth in Science and in Religion

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pp. 165-180

Galileo once said that science is written in the book of nature, which always lies open in front of our eyes for our inspection.1 To read it, we need only pay careful attention and know the language, primarily mathematics, in which it is written. The methods needed...

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Appendix I: Decrees of the Council of Trent, Session IV (8 April 1546)

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pp. 181-184

The holy, ecumenical, and general Council of Trent, having been lawfully assembled in the Holy Spirit, with the same three legates of the Apostolic See presiding, constantly focuses its attention on preserving the purity of the Gospel in the Church, after errors...

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Appendix II: Diego de Zuñiga, Commentary on Job 9:6 (1584)

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pp. 185-186

This passage states another effect of God to show his great power and infinite wisdom. This passage seems to be a difficult one indeed, but it is considerably clarified by means of the opinion of the Pythagoreans, who think that the earth moves by its own nature and...

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Appendix III: Bellarmine, De controversiis de verbo Dei I, I, 3, 3 (1586)

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pp. 187-194

Now that it has been established that Scripture is obscure and needs interpretation, another question arises; namely, whether the interpretation of Scripture should be sought from some one visible and common judge, or should be left to the judgment of each...

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Appendix IV: Galileo’s Letter to Castelli (21 December 1613)

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pp. 195-202

Yesterday I met Sig. Niccolo Arrighetti, who gave me a report about you from which I derived the infinite pleasure of learning what I have never doubted; namely, the great satisfaction which you have given to the whole University, to its administrators as much...

Appendix V: The Galileo-Dini Correspondence

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A. Galileo to Dini (16 February 1615)

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pp. 203-207

Since I know that you, Very Illustrious and Most Reverend Father, were immediately notified of the repeated invectives which were made from the pulpit a few weeks ago against the teaching of Copemicus and his followers, and even against mathematicians...

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B. Dini to Galileo (7 March 1615)

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pp. 207-208

These days of carnivals, and the many theater performances and other celebrations which have occurred, have hindered me from contacting the persons whom you seek. So instead in the meantime I have made many copies of your letter to Father Mathematician...

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C. Galileo to Dini (23 March 1615)

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pp. 208-216

I will respond briefly to your kind letter, My Very Illustrious and Most Reverend Father, because the poor state of my health does not permit me to do otherwise.
The first point which touches me is that the worst judgment

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Appendix VI: Foscarini’s Letter (6 January 1615)

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pp. 217-252

In response to a request from Vincenzo Caraffa of Naples, a Knight of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem (and a man of such rare quality that in him, if I may state the truth, nobility, kindness, universal knowledge of much learning, courage, religion, goodness...

Appendix VII: The Censor’s Report and Foscarini’s Reply

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A. An Unidentified Theologian’s Censure of Foscarini’s Letter

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pp. 253-254

This treatise excessively favors the rash opinion of the motion of the earth and the immobility of the sun, as is clear on pages 8 to 11.1 On page 92 the author not only refutes but also ridicules many things which are taught by the authors of the opposite opinion. On

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B. Foscarini’s Defense of the Letter (1615)

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pp. 255-264

It is not easy for me to accept the characterization of rashness with which the opinion that the earth moves has been branded, an opinion which has been confirmed by weighty arguments by many of the most learned astronomers of our day. But in order to deal...

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Appendix VIII: Bellarmine’s Letter to Foscarini (12 April 1615)

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pp. 265-268

I was pleased to read the letter in Italian [see Appendix VI] and the treatise in Latin [see Appendix VII B] which Your Reverence sent to me. I thank you for both of them, which indeed are quite full of ingenuity and learning. And since you have asked for my...

Appendix IX: Galileo’s Unpublished Notes (1615)

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A. On Bellarmine’s Letter to Foscarini

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pp. 269-273

In regard to the philosophers, if they be true philosophers, i.e., lovers of the truth, they should not be irritated. Rather, if they realize that they have held a false belief, they should thank those who have shown them the truth; and if their opinion stands firm, they...

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B. On the Relations of Science and Scripture

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pp. 273-276

The mobility of the earth and the stability of the sun could never be contrary to the faith or to Scripture, if this were ever actually proven to be true in nature by philosophers, astronomers, and mathematicians by means of sense experience, exact observations...

Bibliography

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pp. 277-286

Index

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pp. 287-291