Who was Giordano Bruno really?

Interview. From Giordano Bruno (1548-1600), we know first of all that he died on fire of heresy after being found guilty by the Inquisition. This Dominican brother, endowed with a radiant and brave spirit, opposed the intellectual limitations of his time in order to develop an idea, from the infinite of the universe to the deity of all things, which would form a link between medieval philosophy and modern thought.

This path was returned Giordano Bruno. Cited the genius of the Inquisition Written by a man as curious as his famous subject: Jack Arnold, Ethics Adviser at the National Center for Space Studies (CNES). Passionate about astronomy as well as the evolution of living things and theology, this 60-year-old ex-Dominican is the author Theology After Darwin (Cerf, 1998), from God versus Darwin. Will creationists triumph over science? (Albin Michel, 2009) and Under the veil of the universe. When scholars talk about God (Albin Michel, 2015).

Giordano Bruno’s wandering life began in 1576 when he was accused of heresy and forced to flee the Dominicans. How was the life of this “man in white” as you call him during this period of his youth?

Jack Arnold. This first part of Giordano Bruno’s life is similar to that of many of his contemporaries, that is, the path of a brilliant young student, priest and then reader in theology, giving him the right to teach. He entered the rank of Preachers for noble reasons, but also because the monastery could emerge as a refuge at this extremely troubled time.

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Underneath his white Dominican outfit, there are some clues that actually show the exclusivity, such as his rejection of sacred images or the cross from his room from which Christ was taken away. He also has limitless intellectual curiosity: Bruno knows all of his old classics and scholastic books, but he also reads books banned to humanists like Erasmus (1469-1536) or scholars like Nicola Copernic (1473-1543).

From that moment on, he sought to stir up controversy with his brothers by defending an attitude of openness. But this is mixed with a bit of provocation, which leads him in particular to take heretical authors as an example, and ends up accusing him of heresy. So he must escape the year 1576, which is the transition from “The Man in White” to “The Man in Black”: From there, he will dress soberly only with a piece of black cloth.

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