On Geocentricism & Heliocentrism

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Order of Contents

The History of

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On the History of in Theology

Post-Reformation

Quotes

Summary

Andreas Beck

ch. 13, ‘God, Creation, and Providence in Post-Reformation Reformed Theology’, p. 206  in eds. Lehner, Muller, Roeber, The Oxford Handbook of Early Modern Theology, 1600-1800  (Oxford, 2016)

“The third issue concerned Copernican heliocentrism.  In the Netherlands, Cartesian [after Renee Descartes] theologians tended to adopt Copernicanism while Voetius and his pupils were opposed to it.  The dividing line was marked by different assessments of Cartesianism, rather than by astronomical research as such.

According to Voetius, the alternative theory of Tycho Brahe (1546-1601) had at least as much demonstrative and explanatory force as Copernicanism, without compromising any statements of the Bible.  There are no indications that the Reformed were worried about a downgrading  of humanity by the removal of the earth from the center of the universe (Vermij 2002; Gourdriaan 2006, 125-33; Jorink 2010, 89-91).”

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On Andrew Rivet, in the Middle

Willem van Asselt  in The Theology of the French Reformed Churches  (RHB, 2014), p. 268

“Rivet also befriended the Roman Catholic priest Mersenne in Paris–a versatile scholar, scientist, and diplomat–and maintained an extensive correspondence  with him over the course of several years.  Mersenne discussed with Rivet the Roman Church’s condemnation of Galileo and explained the issue to him.

Although a proponent of the physica mosaica [Mosaic physics], Rivet claimed that one should regard Copernicus’s theories as a mathematical hypothesis.  When asked by Mersenne, he denied that heliocentrism should be deemed heretical.”

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