Galileo and Bellarmine

  • Article (PDF)
  • 9 pages
  • Level: university

This paper, by Fr. George V. Coyne, S. J., Director of the Vatican Observatory from 1978 to 2006, aims to delineate two of the many tensions which bring to light the contrasting views of Galileo Galilei and of Cardinal Robert Bellarmine with respect to the Copernican-Ptolemaic controversies of the 16th and 17th centuries: their respective positions on Aristotle’s natural philosophy and on the interpretation of Sacred Scripture. Galileo’s telescopic observations, reported in his 1610 book Sidereus Nuncius, were bringing about the collapse of Aristotle’s natural philosophy. Galileo taught that there was no science in Scripture.

This paper can also be found in The Inspiration of Astronomical Phenomena VI (Proceedings of a conference held October 18-23, 2009 in Venezia, Italy.) ASP Conference Series, Vol. 441. San Francisco: Astronomical Society of the Pacific, 2011.

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