Thomas Campanella, O.P.
Translated by Richard J. Blackwell
Despite extensive study of the Galileo affair in recent years, there are still some important documents relating to the case which have received little attention in the English-speaking world. In his translation of Thomas Campanella’s Apologia pro Galileo, Richard J. Blackwell presents for the first time in English a reliable and highly readable translation of this important and neglected work. Campanella, the maverick Dominican, sought to head off the confrontation between Galileo and the theologians by defending Galileo’s right to develop, debate, and publish his ideas freely. By making available at last a well-documented English version of this treatise—one in which the theological dimensions of the dispute receive their clearest presentation yet—Blackwell makes a worthy contribution to a heightened awareness of the doctrinal issues in the Galileo affairs.
Written in 1616 while Campanella was imprisoned by the Inquisition, the Apologia pro Galileo was banned in Rome at the time of its publication in 1622, therefore having little influence on the outcome of the Galileo case. However, then as now it stands as an important document calling for intellectual freedom as related to the Galileo case in particular, and as a plea for intellectual freedom in general.
“. . . A welcome addition to the literature on the Galileo affair and on the controversy between science and religion.” — Isis
“It is . . . well worth having this short work made accessible. . . . The part of the introduction dealing with Campanella’s defense of Galileo is succinct and helpful, and the translation and annotations are good.” — Nature