The Wise Learn by Doing

The purpose and point of learning were questions that kept Grosseteste awake at night and dominate his surviving writings. From the treatise on the liberal arts, the first paragraph of which stresses the place of the arts in leading human operations to perfection by correcting the, to the sermons, dicta and later theological writings, the ends to which learning are directed are never far from the surface of Grosseteste’s thought. In this he was hardly unique, although his questions and reflections provoke particular interest. As Sigbjørn Sønnesyn showed in his fascinating seminar to the Durham Medieval Thought Seminar, the ways in which twelfth century western thinkers raised questions on the purpose of learning were connected intimately to their knowledge of, and engagement with, ancient models and lived experience in community.  Continue reading

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

Sound and Light: ‘The World Machine’ at Lumiere Durham

Lighting up the whole of Durham City Centre later this week, Lumiere Durham is back in town. This festival of light, or artistic collaboration and of amazing sights and sounds has taken place every two years since 2009, and a wonderful, inventive, dynamic series of installations and shows have been included. Lumiere always includes a sound and light show on the Cathedral. This year, this show takes its title from Grosseteste’s treatise On light [De luce].  Continue reading

Compotus ecclesiasticus

The Ordered Universe project now hosts a new resource, an edition and translation (with apparatus) of the Compotus ecclesiasticus by the late Jennifer Moreton, together with an introductory essay by Philipp Nothaff (All Souls College, University of Oxford). The Compotus ecclesiasticus is an early thirteenth century example of the medieval treatises on time and calendrical calculation, and the myriad of other subjects that medieval authors touched on in such studies. As Philipp’s introduction points out computus, the science of time, was an essential element in the organisation of Christian life and its religious ordering. Continue reading

Ordered Universe goes Down Under

As Giles has already indicated, I have been enjoying a lecture tour over the last week in Australia and New Zealand. Originally catalysed by the Faith and Wisdom in Science book (which does have some Grosseteste stuff in it), and an invitation from the Theology department of Otago University here in Dunedin – particularly their Centre for Theology and Public Issues (CTPI), it grew into a series of visits to departments of physics, chemistry as well as interdisciplinary centres and theology departments in Melbourne,  Aldelaide, Brisbane, Sydney, Queenstown, Dunedin and Wellington.  In Australia my host organisation was ISCAST, a network supporting thinking and public engagement of Christianity and science. Continue reading

From Dark Ages to Dark Matter – Festival of Humanities

image001SOCIAL_MEDIA_RGB_02_500PXThe Ordered Universe is very proud and pleased to be part of the inaugural UK National Festival of the Humanitieswhich takes place between 15th-23rd November this year. The Festival aims to engage the public with innovative humanities research, and takes place across the country, with university hubs and their cultural and community partners. The programme is a true showcase for the diversity and inventiveness of research into humanities, with a fantastic array of projects, activities and opportunities to come face to face with the researchers and their subjects. Continue reading

Physics World – Who was the first scientist?

The question ‘who was the first scientist’ crops up regularly in discussions connected with Grosseteste, a debate made famous by Crombie, with the strong rejoinders of Alexander Koyré. More often than not the question should be refined as ‘who was the first scientist in what has come to be defined as the western tradition’? There are a large number of candidates, from classical antiquity, especially within ancient Greek thought, through the Middle Ages, and into the scientific revolution of the seventeenth century.   Continue reading

Asgill Press and the Dicta of Grosseteste

20140719_153356Gordon Jackson’s Asgill Press has an interesting and varied list of publications, including Gorden’s own poetry and liturgical works, as well as translations of a number of Grosseteste’s sermons. He has also translated the whole of the Dicta, using the transcription of MS Bodley 798 made available by Joe Goering for the Electronic Grosseteste website, continuing the work begun by Professor Edwin Westermann. The translation makes these texts available to a general audience and will be of particular use in the classroom, perhaps alongside the transcription. Continue reading

Campaign for a statue

The Grosseteste Chapel - an opportunity for greater celebration of Grosseteste and his life, just waiting for a campaign.
The Grosseteste Chapel in Lincoln Cathedral – an opportunity for greater celebration of Grosseteste and his life, just waiting for a campaign.

The Third International Grosseteste Conference signed a petition to encourage Lincoln authorities to commission a statue of one of their most famous sons. The campaign has already received press coverage, thanks to Jack Cunningham’s efforts, from the Lincolnshire Echo and recently taken up by the Catholic Herald and the BBC. Please be in touch with Jack to register your support. The Ordered Universe fully supports the call for a statue, Grosseteste’s influence over many centuries and in many different fields is surely worthy of this recognition.