230. A Light That Never Goes Out: Robert Grosseteste

Posted on

Translator, scientist and theologian Robert Grosseteste sheds light on the cosmos, human understanding, and the rainbow.



Further Reading

• C.C. Riedl, Robert Grosseteste: On Light (Milwaukee: 1942). [A more recent translation based on an improved edition is available in the Flood et al. volume listed below]

• A.C. Crombie, Robert Grosseteste and the Origins of Experimental Science (Oxford: 1953).

• J. Flood, J.R. Ginther, and J.W. Goering (eds), Robert Grosseteste and his Intellectual Milieu: New Editions and Studies (Toronto: 2013).

• J. McEvoy, The Philosophy of Robert Grosseteste (Oxford: 1982).

• J. McEvoy (ed.), Robert Grosseteste: New Perspectives on his Thought and Scholarship (Dordrecht: 1995),

• J. McEvoy, Robert Grosseteste (New York: 2000).

• S. Oliver, “Robert Grosseteste on Light, Truth, and Experimentation,” Vivarium 42 (2004), 151-80.

• N. Polloni, "Robert Grosseteste on Motion, Bodies, and Light," British Journal for the History of Philosophy (2021).

• R. Southern, Robert Grosseteste: The Growth of an English Mind in Medieval Europe (Oxford: 1986).

The "Ordered Universe" project devoted to the study of Grosseteste.


Jeff Kalb on 18 April 2024

Grosseteste's "On Light"

There are remarkable parallels between Grosseteste's explanation of God's creation through light and the "Big Bang" theory of modern cosmology. It suggests that our physical conceptions are still rooted in an early medieval picture of the world. He also has a completely "musical" notion of "number," an operational understanding that has more to do with modern functions than classical multitudes. Compare to Oswald Spengler.

Add new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.