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Galileo And The Garden Of Eden: Historical Reflections On Creationist Hermeneutics

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Chapter Summary

This chapter studies what Galileo Galilei himself said about the Bible and natural science, comparing this with what his principal Vatican opponent, Roberto, Cardinal Bellarmine, said on the same topic. It describes how members of a creationist subgroup, the modern geocentrists, approach the same issue, comparing their hermeneutical principles with those of Galileo and Bellarmine. The chapter also studies what other creationists say about their geocentrist colleagues and about Galileo?s hermeneutical strategy. In order fully to understand the specific claims that Galileo made about the Bible and science, it is necessary first to understand the larger conceptual framework within which his hermeneutical views were placed. Geocentrism remained a scientifically viable position for roughly a century after Galileo?s Letter to Christina was written. From Mortenson?s book and other creationist writings, we can see just why and how creationists keep Galileo out of the Garden of Eden.

Keywords: Bible; Cardinal Bellarmine; Galileo Galilei; garden of Eden; hermeneutical views; modern geocentrism

10.1163/ej.9789004171923.i-618.104
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