Incompetence or Enlightenment?

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:
Incompetence or Enlightenment?

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Prospero Lambertini was elected Pope Benedict XIV; he reigned until 1758. His reputation for enlightenment was generally well deserved. It was during his papacy that two important events in the subsequent Galileo affair occurred: in 1744 Galileo's Dialogue was republished for the first time with the Church's approval as the fourth volume of the Padua edition of his collected works; and in 1758 the new edition of the Index dropped the prohibition against “all books teaching the earth's motion and the sun's immobility.” Pope Benedict XIV enlightenment may have encouraged church officials to adopt toward the issue of the scientific (philosophical) authority of Scripture an attitude similar to that adopted toward the issue of the earth's motion. It is clear that Jesuit Pietro Lazzari was addressing not the issue of the condemnation of Galileo but that of the condemnation of Copernicanism.

Keywords: Pope Benedict XIV; enlightenment; Galileo; Dialogue; Index; Jesuit Pietro Lazzari; condemnation; Copernicanism

Chapter.  15299 words. 

Subjects: History of Science and Technology

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