Friday, October 9, 2009

Feast Day of Robert Grosseteste, bishop

Robert Grosseteste, Bishop (ca. 1170-1253)

Here is some wonderful information about this bishop:

During his lifetime, Grosseteste was an avid participant in European intellectual life. His early education had given him a taste for natural philosophy. He began producing texts on the liberal arts, and mainly on astronomy and cosmology. His most famous scientific text, De luce (Concerning Light), argued that light was the basis of all matter, and his account of creation devotes a great deal of space to the the biblical text of God’s command, ‘Let there be light.’ Light also played a significant role his epistemology, as he followed the teachings of St. Augustine that the human intellect comes to know truth through illumination by divine light. Grosseteste’s interest in the natural world was further developed by his study of geometry, and he is one of the first western thinkers to argue that natural phenomenon can be described mathematically. He also played a pivotal role in the introduction of Aristotle to scholastic thought, producing commentaries on a number of Aristotle’s logical and scientific works.
During his eighteen years as bishop, Grosseteste became known as a brilliant, but highly demanding, church leader. He insisted that all his clergy be literate and receive some training in theology. His high standards for Christian practice and ministry landed him in a number of disputes with various parts of his dioceses, especially monasteries, and most notably his own cathedral chapter. When the cathedral chapter refused to allow an episcopal inspection in 1239, a long court case began which was eventually resolved in Grosseteste’s favour in 1245.
Further disputes over the activities of the archbishop of Canterbury in the 1240’s led to Grosseteste’s appearance at the papal court in 1250, residing at the time in Lyons. He lectured the pope on the major problems of the contemporary church, indicting the papacy as a principal cause for the current malaise.
Hmmm. I do think we could use his intercession during these latter days.

May we be strengthend by his example and aided by his prayers.

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