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SCIENCE MEETS BIBLICAL EXEGESIS IN THE GALILEO AFFAIR

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Abstract

Abstract Although Galileo's venture into theology, as discussed by McMullin, is limited to Galileo's exegesis of Scripture, it can be seen as an important element in a broader role in theology, namely in ecclesiology and in the development of doctrine. From the Council of Trent, the Reformation Council, until today there has been a development in the Church concerning the manner in which Sacred Scripture should be interpreted and as to whether it can be said to be in conflict with our scientific knowledge of nature. Galileo made a significant contribution to this development. With his telescopic observations he was, in fact, undermining the prevailing Aristotelian natural philosophy of his day and was defending the birth of modern science against a mistaken view of Scripture. The Church of his time was not prepared to accept his contribution to this theological development. What does this history have to contribute to the challenges we face today in the interactions between science and religious belief?

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