HERO OR HERETIC? GENIUS OR BLASPHEMER?
It's no mystery how profound a role Galileo played in the Scientific Revolution. Less explored is the Italian innovator's sincere, guiding faith in God. In this exhaustively researched biography that reads like a page-turning novel, Mitch Stokes draws on his expertise in philosophy, logic, math, and science to attune modern ears with Galileo's controversial genius.
Emerging from the same Florentine milieu that produced Dante, da Vinci, Machiavelli, Michelangelo, Amerigo Vespuci, Galileo questioned with a persistence that spurred his world toward an unabating era of discovery. Stokes confronts the myth that Galileo's stance on heliocentricity stood astride a church vs. science divide and explores his calculations for the dimensions of Dante's hell, his understanding of motion, and his invention of the pendulum clock.
To read this volume is to journey through Galileo's remarkable life: from his inquisitive childhood to his dying days, when, although blind and decrepit, he soldiered on, dictating mathematical thoughts and mentoring young proteges.
Galileo was then sixty-nine years old and the most venerated scientist in Italy. Although subscribing to an anti-literalist view of the Bible, as per Saint Augustine, Galileo considered himself a believing Catholic.
Playing to his own strengths—a deep knowledge of Italy, a longstanding interest in Renaissance and Baroque lore—Dan Hofstadter explains this apparent paradox and limns this historic moment in the widest cultural context, portraying Galileo as both humanist and scientist, deeply versed in philosophy and poetry, on easy terms with musicians, writers, and painters.
Much has changed since this letter was written in 1615, but much has remained the same. This collection of articles by renowned international scholars provides the historical context of the letter as well as a description of the scientific world of Galileo. It also explores those issues that make this 1615 letter a document for our time: the public role of religious authority, the truth of the Bible, and the relationship of scientific inquiry to social justice. Galileo's letter to Christina has become a classic text in the history of the relationship between science and religion in the West for good reason; this volume explores why the letter has earned its rightful place as a classic even for today.