Religion and History of Galileo Galilei (1564-1642)


In this essay I will be discussing Galileo Galilei’s life, who became a famous Italian astronomer, physicist and philosopher during the period 1564 to 1642.

Childhood and Adulthood

He was born in 1564, close to Pisa, a city in Tuscany, Central Italy. He was the son of a musical artist. As an adult his first field of study was in medicine, but he changed his study field later to philosophy and mathematics. During 1609 he heard about the discovery of the telescope that originated in Holland. His interest in the telescope led him to assemble one without having an illustration of it. During 1589-1610 he executed experiments by dropping human bodies, which led to his most momentous involvement in physics.


Galileo was a heartfelt Catholic during the course of his life. He will be remembered for his battle with the Catholic Church due to his teachings that the solar system is powered by the sun. The Roman Catholic Church condemned Galileo for his teachings as they were teaching their people that the earth was the centre of the universe. He was blamed for not adhering to the religious opinion of the Roman Catholic Church by telling people about these philosophies and therefore banned to encoring these concepts. During 1632 he was once again judged for his religious opinion after his book ‘Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems’ was brought to print.


In 1632 he was called to trial in Rome where he was found guilty and punished to a life sentence in prison. The sentence was later changed and Galileo was placed in detention in his home in South Florence. He was also required to publicly deny his theories that the globe rotates on a daily basis with the solar system that orbits around the sun.

Galileo’s Heritage

During this time he started to lose his sight but he continued to put his pen to paper and his book ‘Discourses Concerning Two Sciences’ was brought to print. This last book became his ultimate ending of his countless scientific work that he wrote. He passed away in 1642. Years after his death, in 1744 his book ‘Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems’ was no longer forbidden. During the 20th century the Popes made a declaration that they have repentance for the way the Roman Catholic Church did not support Galileo’s theories about his religion and science.


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