Monuments for heretics

At University College, Oxford, you can see a large memorial to Percy Bysshe Shelley. Those who have seen The Saint may remember it as the place where the lead characters meet. Its presence is a bit odd, however, given that the college and university expelled him because he refused to deny writing a pamphlet called The Necessity of Atheism.

The Vatican is now aiming to do one better than University College, erecting a statue of Galileo close to the apartment where he was imprisoned in 1633 on allegations of promoting heliocentrism. His Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems can be read online.

Author: Milan

In the spring of 2005, I graduated from the University of British Columbia with a degree in International Relations and a general focus in the area of environmental politics. In the fall of 2005, I began reading for an M.Phil in IR at Wadham College, Oxford. Outside school, I am very interested in photography, writing, and the outdoors. I am writing this blog to keep in touch with friends and family around the world, provide a more personal view of graduate student life in Oxford, and pass on some lessons I've learned here.

5 thoughts on “Monuments for heretics”

  1. Interesting that the Vatican is erecting a statue to him. Especially since the dialogue argues against not only geocentrism, but also the notion of substances. The fact the earth goes around the sun is a matter of a single line of verse, but the notion of substances is the entire text of the bible. He was, in fact, imprisoned on allegations of promoting heliocentrism – but this was a kindness, so that he would not be executed for challenging trans substantiation.

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