e Cosmosas CathedralWorldviews and theLanguage of FaithHoly Trinity Adult Forum    February 4, 2007
e Medieval Model                                                                                       e Cosmos as Cathe...
Models, old and new            e answers we get depend            on the questions we ask . . .                        bu...
Myth 1: the Earth is flat                                                                                         e Cosmos...
Myth 1: the Earth is flat                                                                            e Cosmos as Cathedral...
Myth 2: the Earth is the center                                                e Cosmos as Cathedral • Adult Forum • Febr...
‘Everything not forbidden is compulsory’                                                                  e Cosmos as Cat...
Plenitude and the Triad: angels                                                                                    e Cosm...
Origins of the Medieval Model                                                                                        e Co...
Why things move                                                                                       e Cosmos as Cathedr...
e heavens                                                                          e Cosmos as Cathedral • Adult Forum •...
e height of the cosmos                                                                                    e Cosmos as Ca...
‘Nature’ and ‘Sky’                                                             e Cosmos as Cathedral • Adult Forum • Febr...
Approaching God: the Primum Mobile                                                   e Cosmos as Cathedral • Adult Forum ...
Approaching God: the Empyrean                                                                                    e Cosmos...
A finite and bounded cosmos                                                                         e Cosmos as Cathedral ...
A hierarchical cosmos                                                                                      e Cosmos as Ca...
A top-down cosmos                                             e Cosmos as Cathedral • Adult Forum • February 4, 2007--Nur...
Tycho’s nova of 1572                                                   e Cosmos as Cathedral • Adult Forum • February 4, ...
Goodricke and Algol                                                                                     e Cosmos as Cathe...
Models          God as the Architect           of the Universe . . .                                                      ...
e Cosmos as Cathedral • Adult Forum • February 4, 2007--Hubble Deep Field image--http://www.firstpr.com.au/astrophysics/hu...
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Cosmos as Cathedral: Worldview and the Language of Faith

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The language and imagery of much of Christianity continues to be shaped by a view of the universe originating in late Antiquity and transmitted by medieval scholars. Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, Oxford, OH, February 2007. PDF format of a Keynote original.

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Cosmos as Cathedral: Worldview and the Language of Faith

  1. 1. e Cosmosas CathedralWorldviews and theLanguage of FaithHoly Trinity Adult Forum February 4, 2007
  2. 2. e Medieval Model e Cosmos as Cathedral • Adult Forum • February 4, 2007--IMPORTANCE--Medieval model governed thought for over 1,000 years; late Antiquity to the end of the 17th century--Profound influence on language & forms of Christian faith--Undone in part by advances in the Renaissance--1572 was a watershed year
  3. 3. Models, old and new e answers we get depend on the questions we ask . . . but . . . the questions we ask depend on the universe we envision. e Cosmos as Cathedral • Adult Forum • February 4, 2007--ANSWERS
  4. 4. Myth 1: the Earth is flat e Cosmos as Cathedral • Adult Forum • February 4, 2007--12th century illustration from Macrobiusʼs Commentary on the Dream of Scipio by Cicero--temperate regions in both hemispheres, but inaccessible because of heat and ocean--In Inventing the Flat Earth: Columbus and Modern Historians, Jeffrey Russell (professor of history at University of California, Santa Barbara)claims that the Flat Earth theory is a fable used to impugn pre-modern civilization, especially that of the Middle Ages in Europe. Today essentiallyall professional medievalists agree with Russell that the "medieval flat Earth" is a nineteenth-century fabrication, and that the few verifiable "flatEarthers" were the exception.--www.answers.com/topic/flat-earth
  5. 5. Myth 1: the Earth is flat e Cosmos as Cathedral • Adult Forum • February 4, 2007--c. 1400: Dante & Vergil escape Lucifer by climbing UP his leg--gravity is reversed--Lewis: first ʻscience fiction effectʼ in literature--Dantes Inferno, 14th century (British Library, add. ms. 19587, f.58a).--medievalwriting.50megs.com/.../dante/flimage.htm
  6. 6. Myth 2: the Earth is the center e Cosmos as Cathedral • Adult Forum • February 4, 2007--spherical earth lies in the middle--above is a ring of fire--concentric circles like Russian dolls--www.astro.umontreal.ca/~paulchar/sp/images/
  7. 7. ‘Everything not forbidden is compulsory’ e Cosmos as Cathedral • Adult Forum • February 4, 2007--Centaurus A (thought to contain a black hole)--composite optical, X-ray and radio image from Hubble & others--predicted by theory before any observational evidence--answer to G is (a) particle physics and (b) T.H. White--chandra.harvard.edu/photo/2002/0157/
  8. 8. Plenitude and the Triad: angels e Cosmos as Cathedral • Adult Forum • February 4, 2007--pseudo-Dionysiusʼ 9 orders of angels--ʻSeraphs, Cherubims & Thrones/...Dominions, Princedoms, Powers,/Virtues, Archangels, Angelsʼ choirsʼ--N is The Hymnal, 1982, #618 (John A.L. Riley)--HILDEGARDE VON BINGEN. Nine Ranks of Angels--www.dartmouth.edu/.../unit10/unit10.html
  9. 9. Origins of the Medieval Model e Cosmos as Cathedral • Adult Forum • February 4, 2007--SOURCES: BOOKS, BOOKS, BOOKS!-- Greek philosophers in Latin: some Plato (not the ones we know); Aristotle & his circle (not till 12th cent. did others become widespread, due toArabic translations); Stoic philosophers (contemptus mundi)--Late Latin Neo-Platonists and others: Macrobiusʼ commentary on Cicero, Pseudo-Dionysius, Boethius (esp. Consolation of Philosophy)--Book of Kells, c. 800 A.D., Trinity College, Dublin--www.ub.ntnu.no/.../til_opplysning/to_nr9.html
  10. 10. Why things move e Cosmos as Cathedral • Adult Forum • February 4, 2007--Gary Larson cartoon--Medieval ʻkindly enclynyngʼ for our ʻkindly stedeʼ (Chaucer, House of Fame)--Newtonian ʻlawsʼ--Relativistic ʻworld linesʼ--Quantum mechanical ʻprobabilitiesʼ--what are the emotional consequences: strivings and desires; municipal traffic courts; drifting; chance?
  11. 11. e heavens e Cosmos as Cathedral • Adult Forum • February 4, 2007--ʻseven starsʼ above: Moon, Mercury, Venus, Sun, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn--fixed stars (the Empyrean)--www.astro.umontreal.ca/~paulchar/sp/images/
  12. 12. e height of the cosmos e Cosmos as Cathedral • Adult Forum • February 4, 2007--Salisbury Cathedral, 2002--pressure of the 14th c. spire bows structure out; William Goldingʼs ʻThe Spireʼ--sense of verticality--inadequacy of pictures to convey the vertigo--difference between looking ʻoutʼ and looking ʻupʼ at the heavens--note curve
  13. 13. ‘Nature’ and ‘Sky’ e Cosmos as Cathedral • Adult Forum • February 4, 2007--Dante & Beatrice leave the Earth for the Moon--Aristotle ʻphysisʼ vs. ʻouranosʼ--birth, growth, decay, death vs. eternal unchanging realm--no change or imperfection in the heavens--D sublunary is John Donne--Giovannio DI PAOLO (c. 1445): Dante leaving the Earth--www.dartmouth.edu/.../unit10/unit10.html
  14. 14. Approaching God: the Primum Mobile e Cosmos as Cathedral • Adult Forum • February 4, 2007--Dante & Beatrice approach the Prime Mover--Aristotleian idea: unmoved mover, first cause--F Eternal Ruler is Hymnal #617 (John Chadwick)--Giovannio DI PAOLO (c. 1445): Primum Mobile--www.dartmouth.edu/.../unit10/unit10.html
  15. 15. Approaching God: the Empyrean e Cosmos as Cathedral • Adult Forum • February 4, 2007--Dante & Beatrice view the Celestial Rose--Giovannio DI PAOLO (c. 1445): Cosmic Rose--reversal of order of sensation: God in center, not circuference; we are outside--ʼshown by di Paolo as an actual rose, with nine angels and the Trinity”--Lewis: ʻrevelry of insatiable loveʼ--www.dartmouth.edu/.../unit10/unit10.html
  16. 16. A finite and bounded cosmos e Cosmos as Cathedral • Adult Forum • February 4, 2007--another view of the medieval system--modern cosmologies may be finite or infinite; almost all are unbounded--www.brogilbert.org/.../dante_canto27.HTM
  17. 17. A hierarchical cosmos e Cosmos as Cathedral • Adult Forum • February 4, 2007--the ʻGreat Chain of Beingʼ--Robert Fludd. Urtriusque cosmi maioris scilicet et minoris metaphysica, physica atque technica historia, in duo volumnia secundum cosmidifferntiam diuisa. Vol. 1 Enlarged version. Frankfurt: J. T. Bry, 1624--Ulyssesʼ speech on order--etymologies of Lord & Lady--www.loc.gov/exhibits/world/earth.html
  18. 18. A top-down cosmos e Cosmos as Cathedral • Adult Forum • February 4, 2007--Nuremberg Chronicle, 1493--Lewis: ʻladderʼ--www.columbia.edu/.../nuremchron1493.html
  19. 19. Tycho’s nova of 1572 e Cosmos as Cathedral • Adult Forum • February 4, 2007--Atlas of Fortin, 1795--Momentous event--C ʻPhilosophyʼ is Donne; K ʻsilenceʼ is Pascal--www.astrobril.nl/FortinOther.html
  20. 20. Goodricke and Algol e Cosmos as Cathedral • Adult Forum • February 4, 2007--John Goodricke, 1764-1786: deaf-mute astronomer who unravelled secret of Algol (ʻthe Ghoulʼ in Arabic)--E ʻEntitiesʼ is Occam-- J ʻhypothesisʼ is Laplace; B ʻdisheveledʼ is Yeats--B ʻdisheveledʼ is Yeats--www.surveyor.in-berlin.de/.../Doppler-e.html
  21. 21. Models God as the Architect of the Universe . . . . . .or the Universe as our Architect? e Cosmos as Cathedral • Adult Forum • February 4, 2007--H ʻdiceʼ is Einstein--M ʻqueererʼ is Haldane (following Sir Arthur Eddington)--God as the Architect of the Universe. French, mid-13th C. From the Bible moralisée, Codex Vindobonensis 2554, in the ÖsterreichischeNationalbibliothek, Vienna.--www.lhup.edu/~dsimanek/philosop/design.htm--Hubble Deep Field image--http://www.firstpr.com.au/astrophysics/hubble-deep-field/Hubble-Deep-Field-1024-wide.bmp
  22. 22. e Cosmos as Cathedral • Adult Forum • February 4, 2007--Hubble Deep Field image--http://www.firstpr.com.au/astrophysics/hubble-deep-field/Hubble-Deep-Field-1024-wide.bmp
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