European History Essay

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When questioned in regards to the Enlightenment, an individual may give the general description that it was a time period ranging from the mid seventeenth to late eighteenth century that stressed the cultivation of philosophical, intellectual and cultural movements. However, they may not be aware of specific implications it had on former central powers such as the church. Although the scientific revolution was a stepping stone to the destabilization of the church, it was the enlightenment that ultimately removed the church from the central control of cultural and intellectual life. The scientific revolution is a time period in history roughly from 1500 to 1700 that is known as one where advances in European mathematical, political and scientific thought occurred. A “founding father” of the scientific revolution was a polish scientist by the name of Nicholas Copernicus, whose conclusion that it was the sun, not the earth that lies at the center of the solar system, was a direct contradiction to the church, which strongly believed the vice-versa or the Geo-Centric theory. (Merriman,290) It was this initiating step that led other scientists to further question and test traditional church beliefs. An example of this is Galileo Galilee and his creation of a telescope that would confirm the geocentric theory, although for which he was decreed a heretic and put under house arrest. (Merriman 296) In the “Crime of Galileo: Indictment and Abjuration of 1633” we can directly see Galilee’s theories being refuted by the church in the following quote: “The proposition that the sun is in the center of the world and immovable from its place is absurd, philosophically false, and formally heretical; because it is expressly contrary to Holy Scriptures… The proposition that the earth is not the center of the world, nor immovable, but that it moves, and also with a diurnal action, is also absurd, philosophically false, and, theologically considered, at least...
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