Monday, September 10, 2007

Nicolas Copernicus's Influence on Christians


(from the work of) J. Rixey Ruffin

In Prussia stands the stately Town of Thorn
Wherein the great Copernicus was born,
Who did the pure Astronomy display
And took Urania’s dusky Vails away.

—Daniel Travis, An Almanac (1723)

By forcing Western culture to contemplate nothing short of a
re-ordering of the Universe, Nicolas Copernicus’s 1543 work, De
Revolutionibus Orbium Caelestium, set in motion an intellectual
revolution that did not begin to come to rest for over one hundred
and fifty years. While heliocentrism may have been accepted by
most of the Puritan elite, it is doubtful that ordinary (religious)
folk followed their lead. Indeed, evidence from England, where
different rates of acceptance prevailed, suggest that we should
do well to examine the issue more closely. Even as late as 1753,
an English writer commented, “Many Common Christians to this

day firmly believe that the earth really stands still and that the
sun moves all round the earth once a day.”

No comments: