Monday, September 15, 2008
Miller, Laura. "The Heretic." SALON August 25, 2008.
Rowland, Ingrid. Giordano Bruno: Philosopher/Heretic. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2008. But who was Giordano Bruno, and why was he executed in the Campo de' Fiori in 1600? A common misperception mixes him up with Galileo, who ran into trouble with the church 16 years later for embracing the Copernican model of the solar system instead of endorsing the Aristotelian belief that the sun revolves around the Earth. (In fact, the two men shared an Inquisitor, the implacable Cardinal Robert Bellarmine, canonized by the Catholic Church in 1930.) Bruno, too, thought that the Earth circled the sun, and subscribed to many other than heterodox ideas as well: that the universe is infinite and that everything in it is made up of tiny particles (i.e., atoms), and that it is immeasurably old. But as Ingrid Rowland demonstrates in her new biography of the renegade thinker, Giordano Bruno: Philosopher/Heretic, Bruno was no martyr for science. What got him killed was a murky mixture of spiritual transgression and personal foibles, combined with a large dose of bad luck. . . . Read the rest here: http://www.salon.com/books/review/2008/08/25/bruno/index.html.