Galileo’s Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems Essay

Galileo’s Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems Essay

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During the scientific revolution, there was a shift in thinking about nature from a religious perspective to an intellectual perspective. The Roman Catholic Church enforced that the Earth was the center of the universe and the other planets and the sun revolved around it in a perfect circle. Galileo challenged the church’s idea of perfectness and the idea of the Earth being the center of the universe. The church also enforced that God and the church should be the center of everyone’s lives, and Rembrandt challenges this idea through his painting, Raising of the Cross.
In Galileo’s Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems, Galileo represents the pope as Simplicio, the fool, to reference to the church’s beliefs. Simplicio represents the church and talks about the views with great confidence and appears firm on his beliefs, just like the Roman Catholic Church. The confidence in his speech proves that the church was not open to new ideas, and Galileo uses the pope to convey the message that the church already had a preset idea of what was right and wrong. This sense of opposing straightforwardness is also addressed in Rembrandt’s painting. Instead of using linearity and straight lines, that allow the viewer to find a definite contrast between the background and the subject, Rembrandt uses painterly lines that appear to blend in with the background causing the painting to appear obscure and ambiguous. This blending of subjects with background emphasizes that even though the church pretends to have all the answers, no one can truly have all of the answers and there will always be a sense of uncertainty.
In the Dialogue, Simplicio says, “Now when we see this beautiful order among the planets, they being arranged around the ear...

... middle of paper ... makes them imperfect. Through Rembrandt and Galileo, it can be concluded that there is shift to this new idea of change being beneficial.
While there were people like Galileo and Rembrandt who wanted to move past traditional ideas, many religious and intellectual scholars found the idea of new science as threatening because of the undesirable challenges it results in the installed traditions. Since these people remained quite, the church continued to control their beliefs, and remained powerful for a longer time.

Works Cited

Galilei, Galileo. “Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems.” Trans. Drake Stillman. Ed. James Bowley, et. al. Heritage Reader. Jackson,
Mississippi: Millsaps College and Copyright Clearance Center, 2014. 10-11.
Rembrandt, Harmenszoon van Rijn, 1606-1660. “Raising Of The Cross.”
ARTstor Digital Library. Web. 15 Feb. 2014

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