The Condemnation of Galileo (1633)

Maurice A. Finocchiaro

in Retrying Galileo, 1633-1992

Published by University of California Press

Published in print November 2005 | ISBN: 9780520242616
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520941373 | DOI:
The Condemnation of Galileo (1633)

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This chapter explores the four defining documents, namely the Inquisition's Sentence (1633), Galileo's Abjuration, the Index's Anti-Copernican Decree, and the Index's Correction of Copernicus' Revolutions, in order to understand the condemnation of Galileo and the controversy it generated. Galileo had been found guilty of “vehement suspicion of heresy.” This notion embodies the complexity of the theological concept of heresy and of the Inquisition's antiheretical practices. It is also crucial to note that two suspected heresies were being attributed to Galileo. The sentence had declared Galileo to be a suspected heretic; the abjuration here repeated this characterization. The chapter then investigates the corrections to Copernicus' Revolutions published on 15 May 1620, and sees whether they may have softened or otherwise clarified the situation by spelling out the conditions under which that book could be read and, by implication, what aspect of the doctrine was not condemned or prohibited.

Keywords: Galileo; Inquisition's Sentence; Anti-Copernican Decree; Revolutions; heresy; Copernicus; condemnation

Chapter.  8803 words. 

Subjects: History of Science and Technology

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