grosseteste: bishop of the century!

Another character from my huge ‘Continuum’ walking page: Grosseteste (ca. 1168–1253), one of the great intellects of medieval Europe (click for large version).

A couple of words about this ‘Continuum’ project of mine: the overall theme is an attack on binary thinking or the simplistic narratives that are common in the modern world. Examples of this simplistic thinking have lead us such beliefs as “science = good, religion = bad” (or the reverse), or “West= good, Islam= bad” (or the reverse). ‘Continuum’ illustrates that the actual course of history isn’t so clear cut – and is best thought of as an ‘infuriating dialectic’, and when you hammer dead people into modern categories you abuse history, and create a myth that is false to facts.

Stanford entry:

Robert Grosseteste (ca. 1168–1253), Bishop of Lincoln from 1235 to 1253, was one of the most prominent and remarkable figures in thirteenth-century English intellectual life. He was a man of many talents: commentator and translator of Aristotle and Greek patristic thinkers, philosopher, theologian, and student of nature. He was heavily influenced by Augustine, whose thought permeates his writings and from whom he drew a Neoplatonic outlook, but he was also one of the first to make extensive use of the thought of Aristotle, Avicenna and Averroes. He developed a highly original and imaginative account of the generation and fundamental nature of the physical world in terms of the action of light, and composed a number of short works regarding optics and other natural phenomena, as well as works of philosophy and theology … He made a powerful impression on his contemporaries and subsequent thinkers at Oxford, and has been hailed as an inspiration to scientific developments in fourteenth-century Oxford.

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