Course Overview

Catholics who want to defend the Church face a particular challenge when confronted with the Galileo Affair, or, more correctly, the public perception of the Galileo Affair. The challenge is how to have a peaceful conversation with a hostile person about an involved tale that does not summarize easily and has come to mean something that it does not. This course will give you the understanding of the Galileo Affair and the facts of the story you need to equip yourself for this conversation.
Course Overview

You can do this!

This course on The Galileo Affair contains 14 short, easy-to-watch video segments, so you can study at your own pace.

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Skills covered in this course:

Christopher Check’s latest course will give you the understanding of the Galileo Affair and the facts of the story you need to know. Among many other things, you will learn how to:

  • Talk about the historical context in which the event took place and why this context is critical

  • Explain the Church’s actual teachings about the cosmos and about the interpretation of Scripture, as well as the Church’s genuine pastoral concerns and desire to avoid scandal

  • Identify Galileo’s scientific contributions as well as the not-insignificant errors in his theories

  • Answer with facts the abundant falsehoods that surround the Galileo Affair.

Meet Your Instructor

  • Christopher Check

    Instructor

    Christopher Check

    A graduate of Rice University, Christopher Check is the president of Catholic Answers. He lectures on Church history, lives of saints, the culture war, and the dangers of modern communication technology. Chris appears frequently on Catholic Answers Live, and Catholic Answers FOCUS, both as a guest and host.

Course curriculum

  • 1
    Introduction
    • Download the course study guide
    • Lesson 1: Introduction to the Galileo Affair
    • Quiz: Introduction to the Galileo Affair
  • 2
    Section One: The Necessary Background
    • Lesson 2: How the Ancients Understood the Cosmos
    • Quiz: How the Ancients Understood the Cosmos
    • Lesson 3: Copernicus and the Heliocentric Model
    • Quiz: Copernicus and the Heliocentric Model
    • Lesson 4: The State of the Science: Astronomy & Astrology, Physics & Natural Philosophy
    • Quiz: The State of the Science: Astronomy and Astrology, Physics and Natural Philosophy
    • Lesson 5: The Catholic Church and the Interpretation of Scripture in the Wake of the Protestant Reformation
    • Quiz: The Catholic Church and the Interpretation of Scripture in the Wake of the Protestant Reformation
  • 3
    Section Two: The Principal Events
    • Lesson 6: Who Was Galileo?
    • Quiz: Who Was Galileo?
    • Lesson 7: What Galileo Saw
    • Quiz: What Galileo Saw
    • Lesson 8: Evidence for Heliocentrism and “The Starry Messenger”
    • Quiz: Evidence for Heliocentrism and “The Starry Messenger”
    • Lesson 9: "The Letter to the Grand Duchess Christina" and the Church’s Response
    • Quiz: “The Letter to the Grand Duchess Christina” and the Church’s Response
    • Lesson 10: From “The Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems” to the Trial
    • Quiz: From “The Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems” to the Trial
  • 4
    Section Three: What Are Catholics to Think?
    • Lesson 11: What the Galileo Affair Was Not - Common Misunderstandings
    • Quiz: What the Galileo Affair Was Not: Common Misunderstandings
    • Lesson 12: Was Geocentrism Doctrine?
    • Quiz: Was Geocentrism Doctrine?
    • Lesson 13: Why the Galileo Affair Happened When It Did
    • Quiz: Why the Galileo Affair Happened When It Did
    • Lesson 14: Galileo’s Temperament and the Church’s Pastoral Concern
    • Quiz: Galileo’s Temperament and the Church’s Pastoral Concern