The Galileo Affair

The Printing Revolution: Geneva Bible

The first thing one notices about the Geneva Bible is the small size: it fits in your hand. Second, it’s written not in Latin, but in English. It’s design is both portable and accessible for the layman.

The title page indicates that it is translated not from Latin but from the original languages, reflecting up-to-date scholarship, with “most profitable annotations upon all the hard places.”

Section 2: Galileo and the Church

In the Letter to the Grand Duchess Christina, Galileo argued that the purpose of Scripture is to tell us how to go to heaven, not how the heavens go; Scripture never errs, but its interpreters do err; and read rightly, Scripture and science will never conflict – there is a unity of truth. That which is obscure (figurative language) should be explained by that which is clear (mathematical demonstrations). 

Augustine: The Bible and Science

Augustine-The Bible Science Learning Leaflet

How did Augustine understand the relationship between the Bible and Science?

Saint Augustine discussed the relationship between religion and science in the 5th century. Such views became highly influential throughout the history of science for those interested in explaining the relationship between religion and science. This learning leaflet provides a brief introduction to Augustine's views. Also included is a handout with quotations from Augustine, Martin Luther, John Calvin, and Isaac Newton regarding the relationship between religion and science.


The Bible and Science: Calvin, Newton & Other Writers

The Bible and Science-Calvin, Newton & Other Writers

How have people understood the relationship between the Bible and Science?

Quotations from various important Christian interpreters about the relationship between the Bible and Science. Aimed at helping learners differentiate between four key frameworks of relating the Bible and Science.


Banned Books of the Scientific Revolution

Banned Books Learning Leaflet

The three most famous banned books of the Copernican revolution, listed in chronological order, are On the Revolutions of Copernicus (1543); a Commentary on the biblical book of Job by Zúñiga, a theologian in Salamanca; and a Letter in defense of Copernicus by the Carmelite monk Paolo Foscarini. Use this learning leaflet to learn more about them.


The Trial of Galileo

Galileo Trial LL

The story of Galileo’s trial in 1633 intertwines two crucial earlier episodes:

1. Galileo’s encounter with the Inquisition in 1616; and

2. Publication of Galileo’s Dialogue on the Two Chief Systems of the World in 1632. 

Learn more about them in this learning leaflet.


Section 1: The Bible and Science

The religious and political conflicts of the Reformation and Counter-Reformation evoked passionate and widespread controversies over the meaning of the Bible. Would new discoveries in science throw additional fuel on these fires? 

Both Catholic and Protestant traditions accepted, in principle, the idea that Scripture passages are accommodated to ordinary human understanding and cannot be taken literally. Practical application of this principle, however, was complicated by longstanding traditions of interpretation.