When Worlds Collide: The Trial of Galileo (HISTORY 235D, HISTORY 335D, ITALIAN 233)
In 1633, the Italian mathematician Galileo was tried and condemned for advocating that the sun, not the earth, was the center of the cosmos. The Catholic Church did not formally admit that Galileo was right until 1992. Examines the many factors that led to the trial of Galileo and looks at multiple perspectives on this signal event in the history of science and religion. Considers the nature and definition of intellectual heresy in the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, and examines the writings of Galileo's infamous predecessor Giordano Bruno (burned at the stake in 1600). Looks closely at documents surrounding the trial and related literature on Renaissance and Reformation Italy in order to understand the perspectives of various participants in this famous event. Focal point of seminar involves the examination of the many different histories that can be produced from Galileo's trial. What, in the end, were the crimes of Galileo?