The Trial of Galileo
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Church Team #6
Show that, in terms of procedural details and technicalities, Galileo has honored neither the spirit nor the explicit guidance offered to him (through the grace of the Church) in 1616 and again in the review and revision of his manuscript in 1632. (Your discussion should extend beyond Team #4's discussion of interpreting scripture by highlighting Galileo's rhetoric and intent.)

  • Present the 1616 injunction, and show that Galileo has failed to honor it by his continuing to teach Copernicanism. Show further (through a healthy use of quotes and analysis of the structure of the book's primary arguments) that, rhetorically speaking, Galileo's treatment of Copernicanism is not merely hypothetical, in violation of the 1616 Index. Ideally, as background, consult with Team #1 and Team #2 on the limits of Galileo's evidence. For further depth, consult with Instructor about preparing for discrepancies between "the injunction" and "the certificate."
  • Show (again, through a healthy use of quotes) that Galileo exhibits a selectively biased view -- not fairly balanced -- and thus, through his rhetoric and style, defends as probable a thesis contrary to the Bible.

  • "Bellarmine's Ghost": Although Cardinal Bellarmine has died, his testimony is critical to interpreting events of 16 years ago. Using available documents as clues, speak on Bellarmine's behalf regarding what he (you) communicated to Galileo in 1616. Note Bellarmine's background in astronomy and his general sympathy with the aims of Galileo's work. Note also that you will be the final speaker in the trial and, as a respected member of the Church, your message will carry great authority. Consult with Team #4 on Bellarmine's theological views and Team #3 on other Catholic views of Copernicanism.


For orientation, see:
  • Blackwell's Behind the Scenes at Galileo’s Trial, Chaps. 1 and 3
  • Sobel, Galileo's Daughter

  • 1616 and 1632-33 trial documents in Finnochiaro's The Galileo Affair and/or John Burke's Science and Culture in the Western Tradition
  • footnote to p.119 in the Dialogue
  • Fantoli, Galileo: For Copernicanism and the Church, Chap. 6.3-6.4
  • Inchofer's 1633 report to the Inquisition anlayzing the Dialogue, Appendix One in Blackwell's Behind the Scenes at Galileo’s Trial and/or in Finnochiaro's The Galileo Affair

    On rhetoric, see:
  • William Shea's Chap. 6 in Machamer's Cambridge Companion to Galileo
  • Moss's Novelties in the Heavens: Rhetoric and Science in the Copernican Controversy
  • Moss and Wallace's Rhetoric and Dialectic in the Time of Galileo
  • Finnochiaro's commentary on Galileo's rhetoric in Galileo on the World Systems, Appendix 3.
  • the opening and closing sections [especially] of each Day of Galileo's Dialogue

    On the "injunction," see:
  • Fantoli's chapter 5 in Ernan McMullin's The Church and Galileo.

    On Bellarmine, see:
  • Blackwell's Galileo, Bellarmine and the Bible , esp. for more translated documents.
  • McMullin's Chap. 6 in McMullin's The Church and Galileo
  • Bellarmine's 1615 letter to Paolo Foscarini