Order, the Universe and Everything

This week sees the first symposium for the Ordered Universe project as part of the programme under the new AHRC grant. It will examine Grosseteste’s treatises On the Liberal Arts (De artibus liberalibusOn the Generation of Sounds (De generatione sonorum) and the Middle English translation and exposition of both The Seven Liberal Arts. Continue reading

A Guided Tour of the Chateau d’Amour: with video clips

IMG_0065Last week, on Friday 9th October, Michael Huxtable gave his lecture ‘A Guided Tour of the Chateau d’Amour’ as the Annual Bishop Grosseteste Lecture, at Bishop Grosseteste University, Lincoln. The 9th, at least according to the Anglican canon, is the commemorative day for Grosseteste, and the lecture was given in collaboration with Lincoln Cathedral. Michael’s lecture, on Grosseteste’s wonderful, image-heavy, poem of the fall and redemption of humanity, could not have been more appropriate for the occasion. To a full auditorium in the Robert Hardy theatre, Michael presented a tour-de-force of learning and sensitive reading, placing the Anglo-Norman poem, its allegory of the Virgin Mary as Castle, and extended commentary on the redemption of creation, into a series of contexts. Continue reading

Lincoln Workshop in Pictures

It is now just over six weeks since the workshop on the Liberal Arts in Lincoln; thoughts are still buzzing about the discussions and the treatises, and what the nature of inter-disciplinary research actually consists of, as well as the delight in new discoveries, learning and having one’s eyes well and truly opened. Here are a few photographic memories of the workshop: just seeing them jogs the mind to dwell further on what Grosseteste’s texts meant and what they represent. Continue reading

(Medieval) Science and some Spin-Off Contemplations about Ethics and Interdisciplinarity

IMG_4051During the introductory session on the Liberal Arts and modern scientific methodologies, Giles posed the question to the group whether failure of a scientific theory could ever be due to moral rather than intellectual failure. Whilst Giles is the one to turn to if you’re interested in the motivation behind this question, I’d like to share some thoughts on some of the comments that ensued. Continue reading

Education Revisited – Lessons to Learn from the Medieval Curriculum

IMG_4084In the De artibus liberalibus (On the Liberal Arts), Grosseteste positions the Liberal Arts as having their proper, natural place in scholarly thought and the educational curriculum. In the set of the seven Liberal Arts, the so called trivium of grammar, logic and rhetoric is complemented by the mathematical arts, that is, the quadrivium of arithmetic, geometry, music and astronomy. Continue reading

Living in an Ordered Universe

Hortus_Deliciarum,_Die_Philosophie_mit_den_sieben_freien_KünstenAstrolabeThe De artibus liberalibus (On the Liberal Arts) has felt somewhat different from the three treatises that the Ordered Universe group had looked at before. Unlike the De colore, the De iride, the De luce and the De generatione sonorum, the De artibus liberalibus isn’t primarily aimed at elucidating a phenomenon of natural order – be this colour, the rainbow, the cosmos, or sound.[1] Instead of focusing on aspects of the natural world, the De artibus liberalibus offers a justification for the foundational structure of scholarship and education that was around at Grosseteste’s times: the seven Liberal Arts. Continue reading

The Liberal Arts at Lincoln and a Choral Homage in Grosseteste’s Chapel

Easter Week saw the Ordered Universe project team converge for three days on the ancient city of Lincoln – where Robert Grosseteste was Bishop from 1235-1253.  It felt almost like a pilgrimage for those of us who have been studying the scientific works of this 13th

Lincoln Cathedral
Lincoln Cathedral

century polymath together for 5 years now.  We even brought our very own bishop (and medieval scholar) with us in the form of David Thomson (Huntingdon). Familiarity (and depth of scholarship) go back far futher for Prof. Cecilia Panti who joined the group once more from Rome, and Neil Lewis, who ‘skyped’ in from Georgetown.    It felt rather like a family gathering with new friends. Continue reading

Singing for the Lincolnite

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA20140719_153207Grosseteste speaks in the De artibus liberalibus – On the Liberal Arts of the healing power of music, as part of a psychological study on proportion, harmony and the exercise of will and passion. As part of the workshop in Lincoln (hosted at and by Bishop Grosseteste University) next week, the newly formed ‘Cantus [In]firmus’ will be making a short musical offering in honour of the Lincolnite, whose appreciation for, and love of, music can be shown from his earliest works to the end of his days. Continue reading

Comparative Cosmologies: Robert Grosseteste and Modern Cosmology

IMG_1325DSC_0624Professor Richard Bower, stalwart of the Ordered Universe project, and a senior member of the Durham Institute of Computational Cosmology, will be delivering a public lecture in the Chapter House, Lincoln Cathedral, at 6.30 pm, on April 9th. Richard’s title: ‘Comparative Cosmologies: Robert Grosseteste and Modern Cosmology‘ reflects the on-going engagement of the Ordered Universe project moving between the historical location of Grosseteste’s vision of the universe in which he lived, and modern conceptions and theories of the same. Continue reading

Liberal Arts

20140719_090058IMG_1323The next Ordered Universe symposium will take place at Bishop Grosseteste University, in Lincoln, 8th-10th April, 2015. Jack Cunningham and his team at BGU will be taking the helm for the symposium, dedicated to the two earliest of Grosseteste’s works, a second series of sessions on the De generatione sonorumOn the Generation of Sounds, and a first outing for the mysterious and rather beautiful De artibus liberalibusOn the Liberal Arts. Continue reading