Recently, scientists found an unpublished article by Winston Churchill. In it, he talks about exoplanets and the high probability of the emergence of living beings in other star systems. In 1939 and 2017 scientifically based belief in aliens has caused only admiration, but 417 years ago she led to the fire. In February 1600 had executed Giordano Bruno. Some consider him a Martyr of science who died for their loyalty to the new astronomy of Copernicus, someone is a magician and a pagan, is far from rational thinking. But what burned Giordano Bruno? Understand previously unknown evidence and the documents of the Inquisition.
Secrets Of The Vatican
For some, Bruno — the great Martyr of science who gave their lives for the idea of the motion of the Earth, for others — a devotee of magic and the hermetic, pagan, renounced his monastic vocation, and in General Christianity. The latter point of view is now generally accepted, including in Russia. “The legend about the persecution of Bruno for his bold ideas of infinite worlds and the motion of the Earth may no longer be true,” wrote the chief authority on early European science Frances Yates. The deification of the world, the denial of the creation of the world God and the redemptive mission of Christ and the practice of magic — that’s what I think the main “fault” philosopher-heretic.
The desire to expose the myth of Bruno as a Martyr of science (and of the Inquisition as an absolute enemy scientists!) true and commendable. But in recent years historians were looking for several secret documents of the time of the burning of Bruno and came to the conclusion that the main reason for his execution was something else — not science and not magic. Only in 1925, the prefect of the Secret archives of the Vatican found that 37 years ago they found the Inquisition the work of Bruno, but then Pope Leo XIII ordered to transfer the case to him personally and hid the documents. The search folder is gone for another 15 years, and only during the Second world war it was published. Then for the first time, it became clear that the biggest “heresy” Bruno was the idea of many inhabited worlds in the Universe is highly relevant for the twenty first century a question!
The reincarnation of the moon
But what is this idea and why the Catholic Church treats her so hostile? To understand this, the author of the last investigation, the execution of Giordano Bruno offers to remember the ancient philosophy and religion.
The existence of an infinite number of worlds were allowed Democritus and Epicurus — many lands, moons and suns. Heroes of the dialogue of Plutarch “On the face, visible on the disc of the moon” were arguing whether the moon, plants, trees and animals, or it represents the underworld, where the souls find rest after death (just as on Earth buried their bodies). However, Cicero and Pliny among others, considered it nonsense. They were joined by the first fathers of the Church, for which many worlds was not an abstract philosophical truth, but an attribute of pagan beliefs — for example, the doctrine of the transmigration of souls. Thus, the Pythagoreans taught that the souls of men arrive from the region of the milky Way, and animals — from the stars (and that of the soul and heavenly bodies).
As the establishment of Christian Orthodoxy in the IV–VI centuries, the debate about the uniqueness of the world (i.e. the Earth), or the many worlds broke out with renewed vigor. Athanasius of Alexandria insisted that the world is one because God is one. To think otherwise was wicked, absurd and dishonest, but still not heretical. The trouble happened because of the great theologian Origen, part thoughts which the Church rejected — just thoughts about the transmigration of souls between different countries and worlds. And the final formula was given by Saint Isidore of Seville (VI century), we list the major heresies in their encyclopedia. At the end of the list of Christian heresies, before the Gentile, he said: “There are other heresies that have no founder and a recognized name… someone thinks that the souls of men fall into demons or animals, others argue about the state of the world, someone believes that the number of worlds is infinite”.
The position of the Church in the Middle ages is visible on the example of Rupert of Deutz (XIII century). Giving praise to God who made the world full of beautiful creatures, he writes: “perish the heretics, Epicureans, talking about the many worlds, and everyone is lying about the transition of souls into other bodies. Pythagoras, upon its invention, became a peacock, then partial Annam, and after five incarnations Virgil”. The idea of many worlds is rejected and Thomas Aquinas, the main theologian of the Latin middle Ages. Yes, the power of God is unlimited and so he can create an infinite number of worlds (by this argument then resorted Giordano Bruno):
“But against it is said (Jn.1:10): the World was made by Him, where the world is spoken in the singular, as if there is only one world. Answer: must say that the order that exists in things, as created by God, is the oneness of the world. In fact, this world is called United because of the unity of order, according to which each [thing] is ordered relative to the other. But all that the essence of God, has the order, both among themselves and in relation to God Himself… Therefore, it is necessary that all belonged to one world. And because of the multiplicity of worlds would allow only those who are considered as the cause of the world is not a kind of regulating wisdom, but the case: for example, Democritus, who argued that the world, as well as an infinite number of other [worlds], was the result of a random combination of atoms (Sum of theology”, volume 1, issue 47, section 3).
Live Earth, live star
But in fact the difference between the heresies (false doctrines) and disputed, controversial ideas at the organizational level took shape much later when the Catholic Church began to defend themselves from the reformation, “tear” from her half of Europe. The heretics had to renounce their views or be subject to execution, misguided off with a mild rebuke. Then there was the index of forbidden books and the system of courts of the Inquisition.
Heresy about the many worlds got your number (77 in the list of Augustine). The new code of Canon law (1582) by Pope Gregory XIII, is a special paragraph: “There are other heresies, nameless, among them… the belief in an infinite number of worlds.” The same wording was in the manual for inquisitors (Directorium Inquisitorum).
And in this moment appears on the scene of Giordano Bruno: inspired by the work of Copernicus about the Earth revolving around the Sun, he turned to the ancient cosmological texts, especially Pythagorean. There he read that the stars are worlds, too, the universe is infinite, the souls are reborn — including animals — and incorporated these ideas into his occult system.
For example, in the book “About infinity, Universe and worlds” (1584), Bruno argued that the omnipotence of God allows him to create not one, but hundred of thousands, even an infinite number of worlds. Despite the heat, the stars can be inhabited by plants and animals that grow by the cooling effect of the neighbouring celestial bodies (similar to how living beings of the Earth are developing thanks to the warmth of the Sun). All the stars are living and sentient beings. By their inner holes flows the equivalent of blood. Bruno was quoting Epicurus, Lucretius wrote on the infinite Universe and in other works printed in Protestant countries — beyond the reach of the Inquisition.
The art of memory as a fatal error
But Bruno made a mistake that cost him his life: went to teach the art of memory, a Venetian nobleman, Giovanni Mocenigo, who, in 1592, wrote a complaint against him to the local Inquisition:
“I, Giovanni Mocenigo, bring on the debt of conscience and by order of the Confessor, heard many times from Giordano Bruno when we interviewed him at his home that the world is eternal and there are infinite worlds… that Christ committed the alleged miracles and was a magician that Christ did not die willingly, and as far as I could trying to avoid death, retribution for the sins do not exist, that the soul, created by nature, moving from one living being to another. He talked about his intention to become the founder of a new sect called “New philosophy.” He said that the virgin could not give birth, the monks are a disgrace to the world that they are donkeys that we have no evidence whether our faith merits before God.”
These accusations, the Church was considered serious enough for transfer of the case to Rome. The trial dragged on for seven and a half years — primarily because the inquisitors did not desire to destroy Bruno (the former, incidentally, is a priest-friar, who became a Calvinist, but escaped and Protestants). It is therefore imperative which charges the philosopher rejected, but some persisted. For example, Bruno angrily denied that once rejected faith in the miracles performed by the Church and by the apostles, or that he taught something contrary to the Catholic faith.
On the contrary, the idea of many worlds created by the Almighty God (worlds like the Earth), the idea of infinite space of the Universe Bruno eagerly defended in the face of their accusers during the many interrogations — not counting these views heretical! For Bruno it was a philosophical idea, not disputing the truth of faith. Partly he had reason to think so: the Inquisition of the philosophers treated relatively gently. Thus, a certain Girolamo Borri was arrested for a year (for the doctrine of the mortality of the soul and the possession of prohibited books), but then was released, Francesco Patrizi Church authority was questioned and released, even allowed to teach Platonic philosophy at the University of Rome.
However, Giordano Bruno Inquisition is not considered a philosopher, a Catholic monk who renounced their faith, and treated him more severely. Having studied his writings, 14 Jan 1599 they presented a list of eight heretical claims (up to the present day it has not survived) and asked them to recant. Bruno refused. In April and December, they again turned to Bruno again and he said “that he did not repent”. After the last attempt, Gabriel (20 January 1600) his writings were banned and the philosopher condemned as persists in his delusions the heretic.
A dangerous philosophy
Thus, the statement about the many worlds, unlike doubt in the sacrament, the immaculate conception or divine-human nature of Jesus Christ, is found in all of the charges brought against Giordano Bruno charges. And he never refused what they say all the witnesses. By the way, a curious confirmation of the seriousness of this accusation is the letter of the Imperial Ambassador in Rome Johann Valera astronomer to Kepler. “On Thursday, Giordano Bruno was adopted into the family of the Baron of Atoms. When the fire broke out, to his face brought the icon of Christ crucified, for a kiss, but he turned away from her, frowning. Now, I think he will tell of the infinite worlds… how are things in our”.
And the final indication of the seriousness of this idea is the statistics of executions carried out in Rome between 1598 and 1604 (it was led by members of the brotherhood of Saint John Beheaded, accompanied by the last executed path). All were killed 189 people: 169 of them were hanged, 18 quartered or beheaded after severe torture, and only two people burned to death — the punishment was considered the most painful. So, according to newly discovered documents, was only burned heretics — Bruno and a father Celestino of Verona. But even more remarkable is the fact that the Capuchin monk believed “many suns”! According to modern scientists, this fact proves the fear of the Roman Inquisition before the heresy.
So, despite the tendency of modern historians of science to look at Giordano Bruno as the occult, esotericism and magic fan (which has a very good reason), he died as a Martyr to his cosmological views. However, the conflict between Bruno and the Inquisition was not a conflict between science and religion — rather between philosophy and religion.
Church has been rough with Bruno not just because he gave up his dignity and faith. The reason is that in his views the inquisitors and the cardinals saw no glimpses of the new science and the revival of the ancient pagan beliefs. Thoughts on the rotation of the Earth “tacked” Bruno to the Pythagorean tenets on its animation. The idea of many worlds, inhabited like ours, living beings, the philosopher was connected with the belief that these beings inhabit after death the souls of men… It is the relationship with the beliefs, radically eroding the Christian picture of the world, sent the philosopher to the fire.