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The Core Curriculum

The Trials of Galileo

Course-wide Lecture, Fall 2014

by Nic Young, Director & Writer, and featuring Actor, Tim Hardy as Galielo

On October 12, 2014 at 4:00pm, Contemporary Civilzation students and faculty sat in Miller Threatre to watch a production of Nic Young's "The Trials of Galielo." With actor Tim Hardy as Galileo, this play focuses on the events surrounding Galielo'strial for heresy in 1633.

"The Universe is a divine miracle, Galileo, not a clockwork toy! 'Proof' denies faith, and without faith we are nothing." In this reprimand of Pope Urban is contained Galileo's tragedy - a mistaken belief that all he had to do was show the church his reasoning and his evidence and the church would fall in behind him. He understood the science better than any man alive, but never grasped the politics. Until it was too late.

A rough contemporary of Descartes, Teresa of Avila, and Monteverdi, Galileo was a remarkably astute Biblical exegete, a scholar of Dante, and above all one of the great pioneers of classical mechanics and heliocentric astronomy. Galileo lived through a crucial seam in the first semester of CC: as his writings reveal, he had one foot in the world of a Christianized version of ancient philosophy, and another in the division of science and religion characteristic of the modern age. For many years, CC has included Galileo's extraordinary Letter to the Grand Duchess Christina. You can find it on the Core Curriculum website’s CC Reader under “Scientific Revolution,” if you'd like to see how he handles the relationship of Scripture and empirical science.  

Nic Young is an award-winning writer/director based in London. His work covers documentary and drama genres where he looks to elevate the dramatic in documentary, while the drama work he has done has all been in the factual realm. In both writing and directing, he is strongly story-led and focused on the inherent value of the subject. redits include the feature-length documentary ‘Ape To Man’, which won numerous awards, including script EMMY. Nic was Series Writer for History Channel’s blockbuster 10-part series ‘The Bible’, nominated as Best Miniseries for Primetime Emmy 2013. He went on to conceive and develop the follow-up series ‘A.D’, which is now in production for NBC and Hearst Media. Other credits include ‘China – The First Emperor’; Nic also wrote and directed several episodes of the factual drama series ‘Days That Shook the World’, series directed ‘BBC2’s Britain From Above’, featuring its innovative aerial storytelling and was director for the seminal series ‘On Tour With The Queen’. Most recently he won a Cine Golden Eagle for the documentary – ‘Hindenburg’ and has just finished ‘The Real Noah’s Ark’ about the origins of the famous fable for 5 international broadcasters.