Do we live in a universe at all: some thoughts from Mark Robson

John of Sacrobosco's De Sphera
John of Sacrobosco’s De sphera of about 1230, John ‘Holywood’ was an almost direct contemporary of Grosseteste c.1195-c.1256

The Durham Grosseteste Project involves looking at the works of Bishop Grosseteste and trying to understand his ideas in the light of theIMG_1932 conceptual background of an ordered universe. Grosseteste understood himself to be playing a role in a divinely ordered hierarchy of creatures. He was within a Grand Plan, a teleologically ordered whole whose aim was to glorify God and to reflect or even image some of God’s glory. To Grosseteste balance and beauty were expected since they reflected the harmony and beauty of God. He looked at light as the primeaval creation, the first stroke of God’s brush as he expressed His Glory. Continue reading

Creation from Nothing: Mark Robson’s ‘Ontology and Providence in Creation’

41CbUKaUKOL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_SX385_SY500_CR,0,0,385,500_SH20_OU02_Mark Robson’s new book provides a critical perspective on philosophical attitudes to the notion of creation from nothing. Mark is one of the teachers within the Durham Grosseteste Project, based at St Robert of Newminster school. Creation from nothing , ex nihilo, underpins Grosseteste’s fundamental understanding of the created world, and this discussion demonstrates the contemporary urgency with which this notion should be addressed. The question of multiple worlds was one debated within the 13th century, and which forms part of a discussion for a paper coming to a science journal near you soon. Continue reading

Workshop 2: Medieval Science and the Modern Curriculum: Part 3c ADVANCED SECONDARY

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Ulrike, Per, Kathy and Andrew Powney

Our third and final group, took what appeared to be a slightly different approach to the other two, but one that ended up with a great deal of continuity with the others. Led by Per, the group involved Andrew Powney from Ampleforth College, Steven Burdon from St Bede’s Lanchester, and Mark Robson from St Robert of Newminster, Washington, as well as Tom McLeish, Richard Bower, Devin O’Leary, Kathy Bader (Durham medievalists) and Ulrike Nowak (Philosophy and Psychology, University of Oxford). Starting with the notion of collaborative reading of Grosseteste’s texts, the group thought hard about how they, in their conceptual integrity might be best deployed in the classroom. Andrew and Mark both teach religious studies, Steven teaches Science, and together with the Durham and Oxford contributors the group made considerable headway into the ways in which the activities might be carried out. Continue reading