The Faculty of Arts regrets to announce that this program has been cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances. We hope you will join us at one of our other Short Courses or Masterclasses in the coming months.

The 'Galileo Affair', as it has come to be known, is often taken as an illustration of the repressive attitude of the Catholic Church to the rise of modern science in the 17th century - an example of the fundamental conflict between science and religion. Yet it has been subject to distortion and myth, and continues to spark intense disagreement among historians, scientists and philosophers.

In 1632 Galileo published his Dialogue on the Two Chief World Systems, in which he defended the Copernican view that the earth moves around the sun. He was duly summoned to appear before the Holy Roman Inquisition to answer the charge of vehement suspicion of heresy. Forced to recant, he was sentenced to serve the remaining 9 years of his life under house arrest. The fall out was enormous, and forever changed the way we view the relationship between science and religion. But what was the Galileo Affair really about? Was it simply the suppression of scientific truth by an oppressive religious authority? Or was it a more complex episode, in which doubts about scientific evidence could not be separated from the interpretation of Scripture, the political context of the Counter-Reformation, the turmoil of the thirty years war, and even Italian court culture?

In this short course, we focus on these questions, in an attempt to shed light on this fascinating episode. Each session takes a different historical perspective, as we delve beyond the myth, in search of a deeper understanding of one of the defining episodes of Western history.


Caterina Sciacca, Community Education Manager

Phone: +61 3 8344 3996