Galileo and the Roman Curia: modern science and Catholic Reformation
As a result of the impressive mass of studies on Early Modern Rome edited in the past three decades, the city of the Pope cannot be conceived anymore as tout court coincident with "the Church": it was instead the site of many different centers of production and consumption of culture, like courts of cardinals, colleges, academies, seminars and head-quarters of religious orders, as recent works clearly demonstrate. Nor can "the Church" anymore be abstractly conceived as a monolith: it was instead (like it still is) the result of a plurality of different institutions and powers (papal families and clients, congregations, law courts, religious orders etc.) in most cases competing one against the other. These recent achievements urge historians of science to reopen the "science and religion" issue, but now in order to inquire the political role played by those bites of scientific knowledge which challenged the Tridentine theological "Science" (e.g. heliocentrism, atomism, but also geology, paleontology, spontaneous generation. . . .) within the polymorphous body of the Church, rather than out or against it.
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