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Lecture on April 18, 2024, at Seton Hall University in South Orange, NJ.

April 18 at 3:30 pm

There will be a Lecture at 3:30pm on Thursday, April 18, 2024, in the Beck Rooms of Walsh Hall at Seton Hall University (400 S Orange Ave, South Orange, NJ 07079).   The title of the talk is “Galileo, Science, and Scripture” and the speaker is Dr. Kenneth J. Howell.   Refreshments will be served.  RSVP:

This event is sponsored by the Seton Hall University Chapter of SCS and co-sponsored by SHU’s Department of Physics, the Department and Program in Catholic Studies, the Center for Catholic Studies, the Department of the Core Curriculum, Immaculate Conception Seminary School of Theology, and Campus Ministry.

Abstract: The encounter of Galileo Galilei (1564–1642) with the Roman Catholic hierarchy has long been viewed through the lens of warfare. However, a dispassionate review of the evidence, both of events and of texts, suggests a very different conclusion. Galileo was one of the greatest luminaries of the Scientific Revolution and a foundational figure of modern physics, but he also professed his adherence to the Catholic faith in no uncertain terms. How then shall we understand the conflict between the Church and Galileo’s science? In three parts, Dr. Howell will paint an historical picture of astronomy of this period and how the appearance of Copernican cosmology provoked a controversy about the ultimate picture of the universe. After a review of the state of astronomy at the time of Galileo, Dr. Howell will sketch Galileo’s life and work on astronomy. He will then offer an interpretation of his famous Letter to the Grand Duchess Christina which reveals enduring issues in the interaction of the empirical sciences and Christian revelation.

Speaker: After receiving a Ph.D. in the History of Science from Lancaster University (UK), Kenneth J. Howell has studied the Scientific Revolution for over twenty years. He is the author of numerous articles and a volume entitled God’s Two Books: Copernican Cosmology and Biblical Interpretation in Early Modern Science. Dr. Howell also holds an M.Div. from Westminster Theological Seminary and a Ph.D. in Linguistics from Indiana University.

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