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Yet we hence presuppose, again in the very act of the explanation, the very thing we were hoping to explain. The only answer is that the Wolf Man has imaginatively transposed himself back into the primal scene if only as an impassive object-gaze—whose historical occurrence he had yet hoped would explain his origin as an individual. The Judeo-Christian myth of the fall succumbs to precisely these paradoxes, as Kant analyses: if Adam and Eve were purely innocent, how could they have been tempted? The problems for the mythical narrative, Kant argues, hail from its nature as a narrative—or how it tries to render in a historical story what he argues is truly a logical or transcendental priority.

For Kant, human beings are, as such, radically evil. They have always already chosen to assert their own self-conceit above the moral Law. This choice of radical evil, however, is not itself a historical choice either for individuals or for the species, for Kant. This choice is what underlies and opens up the space for all such historical choices. Because of radical evil, Kant argues, it is impossible for humans to ever act purely out of duty in this life—this is what Kant thinks our irremovable sense of moral guilt attests.

But because people can never act purely in this life, Kant suggests, it is surely reasonable to hope and even to postulate that the soul lives on after death, striving ever closer towards the perfection of its will. In this way, though, Kant himself has to speak as if he knew what things are like on the other side of death—which is to say, from the impossible, because impossibly neutral, perspective of someone able to impassively see the spectacle of the immortal subject striving guiltily towards the good see 4d.

We will return to this thought in 4d and 4e below. It is only by acting as if there were such a Thing that community is maintained. Hence, their belief, coupled with these practices, is politically efficient. This is the meta-law that says simply that subjects must obey all the other laws. No regime can survive if it waives this meta-law. What unites these two positions is the idea that the sublime objects of a political regime and the ideological fantasies that give narratives about their content conceal from subjects the absence of any final ground for Law beyond the fact of its own assertion, and the fact that subjects take it to be authoritative.

To elevate such a wholly Other order would, he argues, reproduce the elementary operation of the fundamental fantasy. His work reintroduces and reinvigorates for a wider audience ideas from the works of German Idealism. Bacon produced an edited edition complete with his own introduction and notes and his writings of the s and s cite it far more than his contemporaries did.

This led Easton [67] and others including Robert Steele [68] to argue that the text spurred Bacon's own transformation into an experimentalist. Bacon never described such a decisive impact himself. Bacon has been credited with a number of alchemical texts. The Letter on the Secret Workings of Art and Nature and on the Vanity of Magic Epistola de Secretis Operibus Artis et Naturae et de Nullitate Magiae , [70] also known as On the Wonderful Powers of Art and Nature De Mirabili Potestate Artis et Naturae , a likely-forged letter to an unknown "William of Paris," dismisses practices such as necromancy [71] but contains most of the alchemical formulae attributed to Bacon, [69] including one for a philosopher's stone [72] and another possibly for gunpowder.

Bacon is less interested in a full practical mastery of the other languages than on a theoretical understanding of their grammatical rules, ensuring that a Latin reader will not misunderstand passages' original meaning. Passages in the Overview and the Greek grammar have been taken as an early exposition of a universal grammar underlying all human languages.

Grammar is one and the same in all languages, substantially, though it may vary, accidentally, in each of them. However, Bacon's lack of interest in studying a literal grammar underlying the languages known to him and his numerous works on linguistics and comparative linguistics has prompted Hovdhaugen to question the usual literal translation of Bacon's grammatica in such passages. The Mirror of Alchimy Speculum Alchemiae , a short treatise on the origin and composition of metals, is traditionally credited to Bacon.

Stillman opined that "there is nothing in it that is characteristic of Roger Bacon's style or ideas, nor that distinguishes it from many unimportant alchemical lucubrations of anonymous writers of the thirteenth to the sixteenth centuries", and Muir and Lippmann also considered it a pseudepigraph. The cryptic Voynich manuscript has been attributed to Bacon by various sources, including by its first recorded owner, [89] [90] [91] but historians of science Lynn Thorndike and George Sarton dismissed these claims as unsupported.

Bacon was largely ignored by his contemporaries in favor of other scholars such as Albertus Magnus , Bonaventure , and Thomas Aquinas , [16] although his works were studied by Bonaventure, John Pecham , and Peter of Limoges , through whom he may have influenced Raymond Lull. By the early modern period , the English considered him the epitome of a wise and subtle possessor of forbidden knowledge , a Faust -like magician who had tricked the devil and so was able to go to heaven.

Of these legends, one of the most prominent was that he created a talking brazen head which could answer any question. The story appears in the anonymous 16th-century account of The Famous Historie of Fryer Bacon , [n 10] in which Bacon speaks with a demon but causes the head to speak by "the continuall fume of the six hottest Simples", [99] testing his theory that speech is caused by "an effusion of vapors". Around , Robert Greene adapted the story for the stage as The Honorable Historie of Frier Bacon and Frier Bongay , [] [] [] one of the most successful Elizabethan comedies.

Unlike his source material, Greene does not cause his head to operate by natural forces but by " nigromantic charms" and "the enchanting forces of the devil ": [] i. As early as the 16th century, natural philosophers like Bruno , Dee , [] and Francis Bacon [9] were attempting to rehabilitate Bacon's reputation and to portray him as a scientific pioneer who had avoided the petty bickering of his contemporaries to attempt a rational understanding of nature.

J. B. BURY, M.A., F.B.A

By the 19th century, commenters following Whewell [] [9] considered that "Bacon This idea that Bacon was a modern experimental scientist reflected two views of the period: that the principal form of scientific activity is experimentation and that 13th-century Europe still represented the " Dark Ages ". However, in the course of the 20th century, Husserl , Heidegger , and others emphasized the importance to modern science of Cartesian and Galilean projections of mathematics over sensory perceptions of nature; Heidegger in particular noted the lack of such an understanding in Bacon's works.

Research also established that Bacon was not as isolated—and probably not as persecuted—as was once thought. Many medieval sources of and influences on Bacon's scientific activity have been identified.

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Bacon noted of William of Sherwood that "nobody was greater in philosophy than he"; [] [] praised Peter of Maricourt the author of "A Letter on Magnetism" [] and John of London as "perfect" mathematicians; Campanus of Novara the author of works on astronomy, astrology, and the calendar and a Master Nicholas as "good"; [] and acknowledged the influence of Adam Marsh and lesser figures. He was clearly not an isolated genius. As a result, the picture of Bacon has changed. Bacon is now seen as part of his age: a leading figure in the beginnings of the medieval universities at Paris and Oxford but one joined in the development of the philosophy of science by Robert Grosseteste , William of Auvergne , Henry of Ghent , Albert Magnus , Thomas Aquinas , John Duns Scotus , and William of Ockham.

Bacon was not a modern, out of step with his age, or a harbinger of things to come, but a brilliant, combative, and somewhat eccentric schoolman of the thirteenth century, endeavoring to take advantage of the new learning just becoming available while remaining true to traditional notions A recent review of the many visions of Bacon across the ages says contemporary scholarship still neglects one of the most important aspects of his life and thought: his commitment to the Franciscan order. His Opus maius was a plea for reform addressed to the supreme spiritual head of the Christian faith , written against a background of apocalyptic expectation and informed by the driving concerns of the friars.

It was designed to improve training for missionaries and to provide new skills to be employed in the defence of the Christian world against the enmity of non-Christians and of the Antichrist. It cannot usefully be read solely in the context of the history of science and philosophy. In Oxford lore, Bacon is credited as the namesake of Folly Bridge for having gotten himself placed under house arrest nearby. To commemorate the th anniversary of Bacon's approximate year of birth, Prof. Erskine wrote the biographical play A Pageant of the Thirteenth Century , which was performed and published by Columbia University in Log in to post an annotation.

If you don't have an account, then register here. Categories Map Family tree. Log in Register Search. Roger Bacon. Order of Friars Minor. Francis Bacon , [4] Thomas Hobbes [5]. A diorama of Bacon presenting one of his works to the chancellors of Paris University. Ernest Board's portrayal of Bacon in his observatory at Merton College. A manuscript illustration of Bacon presenting one of his works to the chancellor of the University of Paris. Optic studies by Bacon. Bacon's diagram of light being refracted by a spherical container of water.

Friar Bacon in his study [66]. A 19th-century etching of Bacon conducting an alchemical experiment. A portrait of Roger Bacon from a 15th-century edition of De Retardatione [84]. Time was. Time is past. By the late 18th century this study on Folly Bridge had become a place of pilgrimage for scientists, but the building was pulled down in to allow for road widening. The Westgate plaque at Oxford. William Blake 's visionary head of "Friar Bacon". Four years after the invasion of , the pope sent an ambassador to the Great Khan's capital in Mongolia.

Other travellers followed later, of whom the most interesting was William of Rubruck or Ruysbroek. It was only logical that supernatural remedies should be sought to counteract the effects of supernatural causes. There was an immense traffic in relics with miraculous virtues, and this had the advantage of bringing in a large revenue to the Church. Physicians were often exposed to suspicions of sorcery and unbelief. Anatomy was forbidden, partly perhaps on account of the doctrine of the resurrection of the body.

The opposition of ecclesiastics to inoculation in the eighteenth century was a survival of the mediaeval view of disease. Chemistry alchemy was considered a diabolical art and in was condemned by the Pope. The long imprisonment of Roger Bacon thirteenth century who, while he professed zeal for orthodoxy, had an inconvenient instinct for scientific research, illustrates the mediaeval distrust of science. It is possible that the knowledge of nature would have progressed little, even if this distrust of science on theological grounds had not prevailed.

For Greek science had ceased to advance five hundred years before Christianity became powerful. After about B.

The explanation of this decay is not easy, but we may be sure that it is to be sought in the [66] social conditions of the Greek and Roman world. And we may suspect that the social conditions of the Middle Ages would have proved unfavourable to the scientific spirit— the disinterested quest of facts—even if the controlling beliefs had not been hostile. We may suspect that the rebirth of science would in any case have been postponed till new social conditions, which began to appear in the thirteenth century see next Chapter , had reached a certain maturity.

Theological prejudice may have injured knowledge principally by its survival after the Middle Ages had passed away. In other words, the harm done by Christian doctrines, in this respect, may lie less in the obscurantism of the dark interval between ancient and modern civilization, than in the obstructions which they offered when science had revived in spite of them and could no longer be crushed.

The firm belief in witchcraft, magic, and demons was inherited by the Middle Ages from antiquity, but it became far more lurid and made the world terrible. Men believed that they were surrounded by fiends watching for every opportunity to harm them, that pestilences, storms, eclipses, and famines were the work of the Devil; but they believed as firmly that ecclesiastical rites were capable of coping with these enemies. Some of the [67] early Christian Emperors legislated against magic, but till the fourteenth century there was no systematic attempt to root out witchcraft.

The fearful epidemic, known as the Black Death, which devastated Europe in that century, seems to have aggravated the haunting terror of the invisible world of demons. Trials for witchcraft multiplied, and for three hundred years the discovery of witchcraft and the destruction of those who were accused of practising it, chiefly women, was a standing feature of European civilization. Both the theory and the persecution were supported by Holy Scripture. Pope Innocent VIII issued a Bull on the matter in which he asserted that plagues and storms are the work of witches, and the ablest minds believed in the reality of their devilish powers.

No story is more painful than the persecution of witches, and nowhere was it more atrocious than in England and Scotland. I mention it because it was the direct result of theological doctrines, and because, as we shall see, it was rationalism which brought the long chapter of horrors to an end. In the period, then, in which the Church exercised its greatest influence, reason was [68] enchained in the prison which Christianity had built around the human mind.

It was not indeed inactive, but its activity took the form of heresy; or, to pursue the metaphor, those who broke chains were unable for the most part to scale the walls of the prison; their freedom extended only so far as to arrive at beliefs, which, like orthodoxy itself, were based on Christian mythology. There were some exceptions to the rule.

At the end of the twelfth century a stimulus from another world began to make itself felt. The philosophy of Aristotle became known to learned men in Western Christendom; their teachers were Jews and Mohammedans. Among the Mohammedans there was a certain amount of free thought, provoked by their knowledge of ancient Greek speculation. Averroes held the eternity of matter and denied the immortality of the soul; his general view may be described as pantheism.

But he sought to avoid difficulties with the orthodox authorities of Islam by laying down the doctrine of double truth , that is the coexistence of two independent and contradictory truths, the one philosophical, and the other religious. This [69] did not save him from being banished from the court of the Spanish caliph. In the University of Paris his teaching produced a school of freethinkers who held that the Creation, the resurrection of the body, and other essential dogmas, might be true from the standpoint of religion but are false from the standpoint of reason.

This dangerous movement was crushed, and the saving principle of double truth condemned, by Pope John XXI. The spread of Averroistic and similar speculations called forth the Theology of Thomas, of Aquino in South Italy died , a most subtle thinker, whose mind had a natural turn for scepticism. He enlisted Aristotle, hitherto the guide of infidelity, on the side of orthodoxy, and constructed an ingenious Christian philosophy which is still authoritative in the Roman Church. But Aristotle and reason are dangerous allies for faith, and the treatise of Thomas is perhaps more calculated to unsettle a believing mind by the doubts which it powerfully states than to quiet the scruples of a doubter by its solutions.

There must always have been some private [70] and underground unbelief here and there, which did not lead to any serious consequences. The blasphemous statement that the world had been deceived by three impostors, Moses, Jesus, and Mohammed, was current in the thirteenth century. A Mohammedan ruler, desiring to extort money from a rich Jew, summoned him to his court and laid a snare for him. Tell me therefore which of the three religions, that of the Jews, that of the Mohammedans, and that of the Christians, thou believest to be the truest.

So he made a will that whichever of his sons should be found in possession of this ring after his death should be considered his heir. The son to whom he gave the ring acted in the same way as his father, and so the ring passed from hand to [71] hand. At last it came into the possession of a man who had three sons whom he loved equally. Unable to make up his mind to which of them he should leave the ring, he promised it to each of them privately, and then in order to satisfy them all caused a goldsmith to make two other rings so closely resembling the true ring that he was unable to distinguish them himself.

On his death-bed he gave each of them a ring, and each claimed to be his heir, but no one could prove his title because the rings were indistinguishable, and the suit at law lasts till this day. It is even so, my lord, with the three religions, given by God to the three peoples. They each think they have the true religion, but which of them really has it, is a question, like that of the rings, still undecided.

THE intellectual and social movement which was to dispel the darkness of the [72] Middle Ages and prepare the way for those who would ultimately deliver reason from her prison, began in Italy in the thirteenth century. The individual began to feel his separate individuality, to be conscious of his own value as a person apart from his race or country as in the later ages of Greece and Rome ; and the world around him began to emerge from the mists of mediaeval dreams.

The change was due to the political and social conditions of the little Italian States, of which some were republics and others governed by tyrants. To the human world, thus unveiling itself, the individual who sought to make it serve his purposes required a guide; and the guide was found in the ancient literature of Greece and Rome. Hence the whole transformation, which presently extended from Italy to Northern Europe, is known as the Renaissance , or rebirth of classical antiquity.

But the awakened interest in classical literature while it coloured the character and stimulated the growth of the movement, supplying new ideals and suggesting new points of view, was only the form in which the change of spirit [73] began to express itself in the fourteenth century.

The change might conceivably have taken some other shape. Its true name is Humanism. At the time men hardly felt that they were passing into a new age of civilization, nor did the culture of the Renaissance immediately produce any open or general intellectual rebellion against orthodox beliefs. The world was gradually assuming an aspect decidedly unfriendly to the teaching of mediaeval orthodoxy; but there was no explosion of hostility; it was not till the seventeenth century that war between religion and authority was systematically waged.

The humanists were not hostile to theological authority or to the claims of religious dogma; but they had discovered a purely human curiosity about this world and it absorbed their interest. They idolized pagan literature which abounded in poisonous germs; the secular side of education became all-important; religion and theology were kept in a separate compartment. Some speculative minds, which were sensitive to the contradiction, might seek to reconcile the old religion with new ideas; but the general tendency of thinkers in the Renaissance period was to keep the two worlds distinct, and to practise outward conformity to the creed without any real intellectual submission.

I may illustrate this double-facedness of the Renaissance by Montaigne second half of sixteenth century. His Essays make for rationalism, but contain frequent professions of orthodox Catholicism, in which he was perfectly sincere. There is no attempt to reconcile the two points of view; in fact, he takes the sceptical position that there is no bridge between reason and religion. The human intellect is incapable in the domain of theology, and religion must be placed aloft, out of reach and beyond the interference of reason; to be humbly accepted.

But while he humbly accepted it, on sceptical grounds which would have induced him to accept Mohammadanism if he had been born in Cairo, his soul was not in its dominion. It was the philosophers and wise men of antiquity, Cicero, and Seneca, and Plutarch, who moulded and possessed his mind. It is to them, and not to the consolations of Christianity, that he turns when he discusses the problem of death. The religious wars in France which he witnessed and the Massacre of St. Here it is taught that true morality is not founded on religion, and the author surveys the history of Christianity to show the evils which it had produced.

He says of immortality that it is the most generally received doctrine, the most usefully believed, and the most weakly established by human reasons; but he modified this and some other passages in a second edition. A contemporary Jesuit placed Charron in the catalogue of the most dangerous and wicked atheists. He was really a deist; but in those days, and long after, no one scrupled to call a non-Christian deist an atheist.

His book would doubtless have been suppressed and he would have suffered but for the support of King Henry IV. It has a particular interest because it transports us directly from the atmosphere of the Renaissance, represented by Montaigne, into the new age of more or less aggressive rationalism. What Humanism did in the fourteenth, fifteenth, and sixteenth centuries, at first in Italy, then in other countries, was to create an intellectual atmosphere in which the emancipation of reason could begin and knowledge could resume its progress.

The period saw the invention of printing and [76] the discovery of new parts of the globe, and these things were to aid powerfully in the future defeat of authority. But the triumph of freedom depended on other causes also; it was not to be brought about by the intellect alone. The chief political facts of the period were the decline of the power of the Pope in Europe, the decay of the Holy Roman Empire, and the growth of strong monarchies, in which worldly interests determined and dictated ecclesiastical policy, and from which the modern State was to develop.

The success of the Reformation was made possible by these conditions. Its victory in North Germany was due to the secular interest of the princes, who profited by the confiscation of Church lands. In England there was no popular movement; the change was carried through by the government for its own purposes. The principal cause of the Reformation was the general corruption of the Church and the flagrancy of its oppression.

For a long time the Papacy had had no higher aim than to be a secular power exploiting its spiritual authority for the purpose of promoting its worldly interests, by which it was exclusively governed. All the European States based their diplomacy on this assumption. Since the fourteenth century every one acknowledged [77] the need of reforming the Church, and reform had been promised, but things went from bad to worse, and there was no resource but rebellion. The rebellion led by Luther was the result not of a revolt of reason against dogmas, but of widely spread anti-clerical feeling due to the ecclesiastical methods of extorting money, particularly by the sale of Indulgences, the most glaring abuse of the time.

It was his study of the theory of Papal Indulgences that led Luther on to his theological heresies. It is an elementary error, but one which is still shared by many people who have read history superficially, that the Reformation established religious liberty and the right of private judgment. What it did was to bring about a new set of political and social conditions, under which religious liberty could ultimately be secured, and, by virtue of its inherent inconsistencies, to lead to results at which its leaders would have shuddered.

But nothing was further from the minds of the leading Reformers than the toleration of doctrines differing from their own. They replaced one authority by another. They set up the authority of the Bible instead of that of the Church, but it was the Bible according to Luther or the Bible according to Calvin. So far as the spirit of intolerance went, there [78] was nothing to choose between the new and the old Churches. The religious wars were not for the cause of freedom, but for particular sets of doctrines; and in France, if the Protestants had been victorious, it is certain that they would not have given more liberal terms to the Catholics than the Catholics gave to them.

Luther was quite opposed to liberty of conscience and worship, a doctrine which was inconsistent with Scripture as he read it. He might protest against coercion and condemn the burning of heretics, when he was in fear that he and his party might be victims, but when he was safe and in power, he asserted his real view that it was the duty of the State to impose the true doctrine and exterminate heresy, which was an abomination, that unlimited obedience to their prince in religious as in other matters was the duty of subjects, and that the end of the State was to defend the faith.

He held that Anabaptists should be put to the sword. With Protestants and Catholics alike the dogma of exclusive salvation led to the same place. He did not, like Luther, advocate the absolute power of the civil ruler; he stood for the control of the State by the Church—a form of government which is commonly called theocracy; [79] and he established a theocracy at Geneva.

Here liberty was completely crushed; false doctrines were put down by imprisonment, exile, and death. The Spaniard Servetus, who had written against the dogma of the Trinity, was imprisoned at Lyons partly through the machinations of Calvin and having escaped came rashly to Geneva. He was tried for heresy and committed to the flames , though Geneva had no jurisdiction over him.

Melanchthon, who formulated the principles of persecution, praised this act as a memorable example to posterity. Posterity however was one day to be ashamed of that example. The people at large were to be driven into a fold, to accept their faith at the command of their sovran. This was the principle laid down in the [80] religious peace which composed the struggle between the Catholic Emperor and the Protestant German princes.

Nor did the Protestant creeds represent enlightenment. The Reformation on the Continent was as hostile to enlightenment as it was to liberty; and science, if it seemed to contradict the Bible, has as little chance with Luther as with the Pope. The Bible, interpreted by the Protestants or the Roman Church, was equally fatal to witches. In Germany the development of learning received a long set-back. Yet the Reformation involuntarily helped the cause of liberty.

The result was contrary to the intentions of its leaders, was indirect, and long delayed.

In the first place, the great rent in Western Christianity, substituting a number of theological authorities instead of one—several gods, we may say, instead of one God—produced a weakening of ecclesiastical authority in general. The religious tradition was broken. In the second place, in the Protestant States, the supreme ecclesiastical power was vested in the sovran; the sovran had other interests besides those of [81] the Church to consider; and political reasons would compel him sooner or later to modify the principle of ecclesiastical intolerance.

Catholic States in the same way were forced to depart from the duty of not suffering heretics. The religious wars in France ended in a limited toleration of Protestants. The policy of Cardinal Richelieu, who supported the Protestant cause in Germany, illustrates how secular interests obstructed the cause of faith. Again, the intellectual justification of the Protestant rebellion against the Church had been the right of private judgment, that is, the principle of religious liberty. But the Reformers had asserted it only for themselves, and as soon as they had framed their own articles of faith, they had practically repudiated it.

This was the most glaring inconsistency in the Protestant position; and the claim which they had thrust aside could not be permanently suppressed. Once more, the Protestant doctrines rested on an insecure foundation which no logic could defend, and inevitably led from one untenable position to another.

If we are to believe on authority, why should we prefer the upstart dictation of the Lutheran Confession of Augsburg or the English Thirty-nine Articles to the venerable authority of the Church of Rome? If we decide against Rome, we must do so by means [82] of reason; but once we exercise reason in the matter, why should we stop where Luther or Calvin or any of the other rebels stopped, unless we assume that one of them was inspired?

If we reject superstitions which they rejected, there is nothing except their authority to prevent us from rejecting all or some of the superstitions which they retained. Moreover, their Bible-worship promoted results which they did not foresee. Public attention was directed to it as never before, though it cannot be said to have been universally read before the nineteenth century. Study led to criticism, the difficulties of the dogma of inspiration were appreciated, and the Bible was ultimately to be submitted to a remorseless dissection which has altered at least the quality of its authority in the eyes of intelligent believers.

This process of Biblical criticism has been conducted mainly in a Protestant atmosphere and the new position in which the Bible was placed by the Reformation must be held partly accountable. In these ways, Protestantism was adapted to be a stepping-stone to rationalism, and thus served the cause of freedom.

That cause however was powerfully and directly promoted by one sect of Reformers, who in the eyes of all the others were blasphemers and of whom most people never think when they talk of the Reformation. I mean the Socinians. Of their far-reaching influence something will be said in the next chapter. Another result of the Reformation has still to be mentioned, its renovating effect on the Roman Church, which had now to fight for its existence.

A new series of Popes who were in earnest about religion began with Paul III and reorganized the Papacy and its resources for a struggle of centuries. The reformed Papacy was good fortune for believing children of the Church, but what here concerns us is that one of its chief objects was to repress freedom more effectually. Savonarola who preached right living at Florence had been executed under Pope Alexander VI who was a notorious profligate. If Savonarola had lived [84] in the new era he might have been canonized, but Giordano Bruno was burned. Giordano Bruno had constructed a religious philosophy, based partly upon Epicurus, from whom he took the theory of the infinity of the universe.

But Epicurean materialism was transformed into a pantheistic mysticism by the doctrine that God is the soul of matter. Accepting the recent discovery of Copernicus, which Catholics and Protestants alike rejected, that the earth revolves round the sun, Bruno took the further step of regarding the fixed stars as suns, each with its invisible satellites.

He sought to come to an understanding with the Bible, which he held being intended for the vulgar had to accommodate itself to their prejudices. Leaving Italy, because he was suspected of heresy, he lived successively in Switzerland, France, England, and Germany, and in , induced by a false friend to return to Venice he was seized by order of the Inquisition. No country has so illustrious a victim of that era to commemorate as Italy, but in other lands [85] blood just as innocent was shed for heterodox opinions.

In France there was rather more freedom than elsewhere under the relatively tolerant government of Henry IV and of the Cardinals Richelieu and Mazarin, till about But at Toulouse Lucilio Vanini, a learned Italian who like Bruno wandered about Europe, was convicted as an atheist and blasphemer; his tongue was torn out and he was burned. Protestant England, under Elizabeth and James I, did not lag behind the Roman Inquisition, but on account of the obscurity of the victims her zeal for faith has been unduly forgotten.

Yet, but for an accident, she might have covered herself with the glory of having done to death a heretic not less famous than Giordano Bruno. The poet Marlowe was accused of atheism, but while the prosecution was hanging over him he was killed in a sordid quarrel in a tavern Another dramatist Kyd who was implicated in the charge was put to the torture.

At the same time Sir Walter Raleigh was prosecuted for unbelief but not convicted. Others were not so fortunate. Three or four persons were burned at Norwich in the reign of Elizabeth for unchristian doctrines, among them Francis Kett who had been a Fellow of Corpus Christi, Cambridge. Under James I, who [86] interested himself personally in such matters, Bartholomew Legate was charged with holding various pestilent opinions. The king summoned him to his presence and asked him whether he did not pray daily to Jesus Christ. Legate replied he had prayed to Christ in the days of his ignorance, but not for the last seven years.

Just a month later, one Wightman was burned at Lichfield, by the Bishop of Coventry, for heterodox doctrines. It is possible that public opinion was shocked by these two burnings. They were the last cases in England of death for unbelief. But this did not lead to any executions. The Renaissance age saw the first signs of the beginning of modern science, but the mediaeval prejudices against the investigation [87] of nature were not dissipated till the seventeenth century, and in Italy they continued to a much later period.

The history of modern astronomy begins in , with the publication of the work of Copernicus revealing the truth about the motions of the earth. The theory was denounced by Catholics and Reformers, and it did not convince some men e. Bacon who were not influenced by theological prejudice. In the pulpits of Florence, where he lived under the protection of the Grand Duke, his sensational discoveries were condemned.

Learning that his investigations were being considered [88] at Rome, Galileo went thither, confident that he would be able to convince the ecclesiastical authorities of the manifest truth of Copernicanism. He did not realize what theology was capable of.

In February the Holy Office decided that the Copernican system was in itself absurd, and, in respect of Scripture, heretical. Galileo promised to obey. The book of Copernicus was placed on the Index. Galileo was silenced for a while, but it was impossible for him to be mute for ever.

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He hoped to avoid difficulties by the device of placing the arguments for the old and the new theories side by side, and pretending not to judge between them. He wrote a treatise on the two systems the Ptolemaic and the Copernican in the form [89] of Dialogues , of which the preface declares that the purpose is to explain the pros and cons of the two views. But the spirit of the work is Copernican. He received permission, quite definite as he thought, from Father Riccardi master of the Sacred Palace to print it, and it appeared in The Pope however disapproved of it, the book was examined by a commission, and Galileo was summoned before the Inquisition.

He was old and ill, and the humiliations which he had to endure are a painful story. He would probably have been more severely treated, if one of the members of the tribunal had not been a man of scientific training Macolano, a Dominican , who was able to appreciate his ability.

Under examination, Galileo denied that he had upheld the motion of the earth in the Dialogues , and asserted that he had shown the reasons of Copernicus to be inconclusive. This defence was in accordance with the statement in his preface, but contradicted his deepest conviction. In struggling with such a tribunal, it was the only line which a man who was not a hero could take. At a later session, he forced himself ignominiously to confess that some of the arguments on the Copernican side had been put too strongly and to declare himself ready to confute the [90] theory.

In the final examination, he was threatened with torture. He said that before the decree of he had held the truth of the Copernican system to be arguable, but since then he had held the Ptolemaic to be true. Next day, he publicly abjured the scientific truth which he had demonstrated. He was allowed to retire to the country, on condition that he saw no one. It is refuted by the irrefragable authority of Scripture. The prohibition was fatal to the study of natural science in Italy. The Roman Index reminds us of the significance of the invention of printing in the struggle for freedom of thought, by making [91] it easy to propagate new ideas far and wide.

Authority speedily realized the danger, and took measures to place its yoke on the new contrivance, which promised to be such a powerful ally of reason. In Germany, censorship was introduced in In England, under Elizabeth, books could not be printed without a license, and printing presses were not allowed except in London, Oxford, and Cambridge; the regulation of the Press was under the authority of the Star Chamber.

Nowhere did the Press become really free till the nineteenth century. While the Reformation and the renovated Roman Church meant a reaction against the Renaissance, the vital changes which the Renaissance signified—individualism, a new intellectual attitude to the world, the cultivation of secular knowledge—were permanent and destined to lead, amid the competing intolerances of Catholic and Protestant powers, to the goal of liberty. We shall see how reason and the growth of knowledge undermined the bases of theological authority.

At each step in this process, in which philosophical speculation, historical [92] criticism, natural science have all taken part, the opposition between reason and faith deepened; doubt, clear or vague, increased; and secularism, derived from the Humanists, and always implying scepticism, whether latent or conscious, substituted an interest in the fortunes of the human race upon earth for the interest in a future world.

And along with this steady intellectual advance, toleration gained ground and freedom won more champions. In the meantime the force of political circumstances was compelling governments to mitigate their maintenance of one religious creed by measures of relief to other Christian sects, and the principle of exclusiveness was broken down for reasons of worldly expediency. Religious liberty was an important step towards complete freedom of opinion. IN the third century B. His ordinances on the matter are memorable [93] as the earliest existing Edicts of toleration.

In Europe, as we saw, the principle of toleration was for the first time definitely expressed in the Roman Imperial Edicts which terminated the persecution of the Christians. The religious strife of the sixteenth century raised the question in its modern form, and for many generations it was one of the chief problems of statesmen and the subject of endless controversial pamphlets. Toleration means incomplete religious liberty, and there are many degrees of it. It might be granted to certain Christian sects; it might be granted to Christian sects, but these alone; it might be granted to all religions, but not to freethinkers; or to deists, but not to atheists.

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It might mean the concession of some civil rights, but not of others; it might mean the exclusion of those who are tolerated from public offices or from certain professions. The religious liberty now enjoyed in Western lands has been gained through various stages of toleration. We owe the modern principle of toleration to the Italian group of Reformers, who rejected the doctrine of the Trinity and were the fathers of Unitarianism.

The Reformation movement had spread to Italy, but Rome was successful in suppressing it, and many heretics fled to Switzerland. The anti-Trinitarian [94] group were forced by the intolerance of Calvin to flee to Transylvania and Poland where they propagated their doctrines. The Unitarian creed was moulded by Fausto Sozzini, generally known as Socinus, and in the catechism of his sect persecution is condemned.

This repudiation of the use of force in the interest of religion is a consequence of the Socinian doctrines. For, unlike Luther and Calvin, the Socinians conceded such a wide room to individual judgment in the interpretation of Scripture that to impose Socinianism would have been inconsistent with its principles. In other words, there was a strong rationalistic element which was lacking in the Trinitarian creeds.

It was under the influence of the Socinian spirit that Castellion of Savoy sounded the trumpet of toleration in a pamphlet denouncing the burning of Servetus, whereby he earned the malignant hatred of Calvin.

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He maintained the innocence of error and ridiculed the importance which the Churches laid on obscure questions such as predestination and the Trinity. For a long time the Socinians and those who came under their influence when, driven from Poland, they passed into Germany and Holland, were the only sects which advocated toleration. It was adopted from them by the Anabaptists and by the Arminian section of the Reformed Church of Holland. And in Holland, the founder of the English Congregationalists, who under the name of Independents played such an important part in the history of the Civil War and the Commonwealth, learned the principle of liberty of conscience.

Socinus thought that this principle could be realized without abolishing the State Church. He contemplated a close union between the State and the prevailing Church, combined with complete toleration for other sects. It is under this system which has been called jurisdictional that religious liberty has been realized in European States. But there is another and simpler method, that of separating Church from State and placing all religions on an equality.

This was the solution which the Anabaptists would have preferred. They detested the State; and the doctrine of religious liberty was not [96] precious to them. Their ideal system would have been an Anabaptist theocracy; separation was the second best. In Europe, public opinion was not ripe for separation, inasmuch as the most powerful religious bodies were alike in regarding toleration as wicked indifference. But it was introduced in a small corner of the new world beyond the Atlantic in the seventeenth century. The Puritans who fled from the intolerance of the English Church and State and founded colonies in New England, were themselves equally intolerant, not only to Anglicans and Catholics, but to Baptists and Quakers.

They set up theocratical governments from which all who did not belong to their own sect were excluded. On account of this heresy he was driven from Massachusetts, and he founded Providence to be a refuge for those whom the Puritan colonists persecuted. Here he set up a democratic constitution in which the magistrates had power only in civil matters and could not interfere with religion. Other towns were presently founded in Rhode Island, and a charter of Charles II confirmed the constitution, which secured to all citizens professing Christianity, of whatever [97] form, the full enjoyment of political rights.

Non-Christians were tolerated, but were not admitted to the political rights of Christians.