Bertrand Russell’s History has relatively little to say about the Protestant Reformation, but says it well. Luther and Calvin were “medieval in philosophy,” their abolition of purgatory and repudiation of indulgences diminished the power of the church, their doctrine of predestination affirmed the soul’s fate as “wholly independent of the action of priests.” But lest we conclude that Protestantism represented real spiritual progress over Catholicism, he observes that the former was “just as bigoted” but less powerful, hence “less able to do harm.”
So glad our stroll has brought us at last to the doorstep of modern science, with Galileo and Copernicus on deck. Maybe we should try to squeeze in some extracurricular reading before next week from Dava Sobel (it’s her birthday), author of Galileo’s Daughter and More Perfect Heaven: How Copernicus Revolutionized the Cosmos. Or Cosmosapiens. Or The Big Picture…
There’s a time and place for making stuff up, but not in place of finding stuff out.
6 am/5:31, 73/91, 8:04
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