Grosseteste Lecture 2014 (Lincoln Cathedral)

The annual Grosseteste Lecture was delivered at Lincoln Cathedral by Dr Phillipa Hoskin (University of Lincoln) on Justice, Mercy and the Law: Grosseteste, de Montfort  and the Parliament of 1265.

‘As the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta approaches, it is important to remember that 2015 also marks the 750th anniversary of the 1265 de Montfort Parliament, believed by many to be the earliest forerunner of modern Parliament.  This lecture is on the subject of Simon de Montfort, Magna Carta and Parliament, and Bishop Grosseteste’s role as de Montfort’s chaplain and confessor.’

English: A statue of Simon de Montfort on the ...

English: A statue of Simon de Montfort on the Haymarket Memorial Clock Tower in Leicester, England. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Grosseteste Statue

The delegates at the recent Grosseteste Conference in Lincoln have called for a statue of the bishop to be erected in recognition of his contribution to the history of science. See the media reports:

Statue call for ‘Big Bang’ bishop Robert Grosseteste  (BBC)

Call to honour ‘forgotten’ bishop who changed course of scientific history (Catholic Herald)

English: Interior of the Cathedral, Lincoln To...

English: Interior of the Cathedral, Lincoln Tomb of Bishop Robert Grosseteste. Bishop of Lincoln 1235-1253. The tomb is in the chapel of St Peter and St Paul, also know as the Students’ chapel. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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2014 Conference Programme

The programme for the conference is now available: Grosseteste programme

For further details see the conference page on this site.

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The following edition of Grosseteste’s translation of the Suda is now available in an open access journal: Dorandi, Tiziano and Michele Trizio. ‘Editio Princeps Del “Liber Qui Uocatur Suda” Di Roberto Grossatesta.’ Studia graeco-arabica 4 (2014): 145-90.

A page from a 16th-century edition of the vast...

A page from a 16th-century edition of the vast Byzantine encyclopaedia, the Suda. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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De luce and avant-garde filmmakers in New York

Luke Fidler (Northwestern University, Department of Art History) is investigating the significance of Grosseteste’s De luce for the work of avant-garde filmmakers during the 1960s and 70s in New York. His research will be published in a special issue of Postmedieval: a journal of medieval cultural studies (vol. 7, no. 1, 2016).

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July 18th – 20th 2014, Bishop Grosseteste University, Lincoln.

This conference will explore the relationship between the pursuit of scientific and religious knowledge in the middle-ages, with a particular focus on the British scholar, theologian, scientist, astronomer and philosopher, Robert Grosseteste (c. 1175-1253).

For more details, see:

Download the Conference Poster

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Death of Servus Gieben OFM Cap.

Servus Gieben OFM Cap.

Fr Servus Gieben (b. 23 September 1924) died on 5 February 2014 in his community in Tilburg (NL). He had been a Capuchin for 71 years during which he wrote extensively on the history of his order. In 1970 he was appointed director of the Franciscan Museum in Rome. He worked at the Capuchin Historical Institute until last year when he retired due to illness and returned to his native country. Fr Gieben was a pioneer of Grosseteste studies. He produced editions of Grosseteste’s texts (notably the Hexameron which he edited with R. C. Dales), a Grosseteste bibliography (culled from library catalogues across Europe when such things had not been digitised), and articles on various aspects of Grosseteste studies. Fr Gieben was a genial man and a generous scholar who was always ready to help other people with their research and who was very modest about his pivotal contribution to the field.

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Postgraduate Conference Bursaries


CFP Bursaries July 18 blue

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Grosseteste related publications online

The following are freely available online:


1. Ambler, Sophie. ‘On Kingship and Tyranny: Grosseteste’s Memorandum and Its Place in the Baronial Reform Movement’, in Thirteenth Century England XIV: Proceedings of the Aberystwyth and Lampeter Conference, 2011, 115-28, eds. Janet Burton, Phillipp Schofield and Björn Weiler. Cambridge: Boydell & Brewer, 2013.


Abstract: ‘Considers the various works of Robert Grosseteste (bishop of Lincoln 1235-53) concerning kingship, the responsibilities of rulers and the nature of power, in order to assess what influence the bishop’s arguments might have exercised on his disciple, Simon de Montfort, who led a revolution against King Henry III of England in the late 1250s. This discussion explores the memorandum created for Grosseteste outlining the case he made at the papal court in 1250 against the archbishop of Canterbury, which the bishop later sent to Montfort, as well as Grosseteste’s commentary on book eight of Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics that inspired his case, and several of Grosseteste’s letters.’


2. Cooper, Travis James. ‘One Truth or Many Truths? Two Medieval Accounts of Truth: Anselm of Canterbury and Robert Grosseteste.’ Catholic University of America, PhD, 2012.


Anselm of Canterbury was the first to attempt ...

Anselm of Canterbury (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Abstract: ‘This dissertation analyzes two medieval Augustinian accounts of truth, viz., those of Anselm of Canterbury and Robert Grosseteste. Despite their common acknowledgement of the authority of Augustine and fundamental reliance upon Augustinian principles, Anselm and Grosseteste disagree about whether there is only one Truth or there are many truths. The purpose of this dissertation is to determine the reasons for this disagreement. Chapter One examines the primary texts of Augustine on truth. Despite the unsystematic and oftentimes ambiguous character of these texts, Augustine’s thought converges on the conclusion that, ultimately, there is but one Truth, through Which all true things are true.Chapter Two analyzes Anselm’s account of truth. Like Augustine before him, Anselm leans heavily on the eternal and immutable character of truth in his argument that there is only one Truth. But it is Anselm’s “metaphysics of creation,” especially his dyadic understanding of participation, that ultimately explains his concluding to the unicity of Truth despite the theretofore general progression of his argument toward the multiplicity of truth. Lastly, Chapter Three, in investigating Grosseteste’s writings on truth, shows that his conclusion that there are many truths is the result of not only metaphysical but also epistemological and logical arguments and principles. Grosseteste’s understanding of the relationship between the Supreme Truth and the true thing, his account of our knowledge of true things (with its concern to avoid ontologism), and his commitment to the legitimacy of our speaking of “truths” impel him to the conclusion that there are many truths, while also preserving the central Augustinian commitment to the transcendence of the Supreme Truth as That in virtue of which all true things are true. Furthermore, having a different understanding of participation from Anselm (i.e., a triadic understanding), and being able to explain the eternal and immutable character of truth without identifying truth with Truth, Grosseteste eradicates the Anselmian motives for concluding to the unicity of truth. Ultimately, Grosseteste’s great contribution is to overcome the tension in Anselm’s account by showing that the transcendence of the Supreme Truth, far from negating created truths, rather makes them possible at all.’

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“Robert Grosseteste, the first Cosmologist?” Public Lecture in Lincoln, Oct. 8

On 8 October 2013, Robert Grosseteste Day, Prof. Richard Bower of Durham University will be delivering a free lecture open to students, staff, and members of the public. The lecture: “Robert Grosseteste, the first Cosmologist?” will take place at 11.00 am in Bishop Grosseteste University Chapel (Lincoln). Prof. Bower is an outstanding astrophysicist who works on the evolution and formation of galaxies. He is also a phenomenal public speaker.

Before the lecture at 10am in the chapel there will be an act of worship called the Office of Readings. It will include an extract from the writings of Robert Grosseteste, hymns, and other musical elements. All are welcome.

Enquires to: Rev Dr Peter Green: (01522) 583607, E

Dr Jack Cunningham: (01522) 583728, E

See details: Robert Grosseteste Cosmologist flyers

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The Sky at Night

The Hubble Ultra Deep Field, is an image of a ...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Paul F. Cockburn’s article, ‘The Medieval Big Bang’ from the astronomers’ magazine The Sky at Night can be downloaded through the link below.

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Conference: Robert Grosseteste and the Pursuit of Religious and Scientific Learning in the Middle-Ages

English: Castle Square, Lincoln Castle Square,...

The next conference of the society will take place in Bishop Grosseteste University, Lincoln on 18-20 July 2014.

This conference will explore the relationship between the pursuit of scientific and religious knowledge in the middle-ages, with a particular focus on Grosseteste. It will discuss his theological and scientific understanding, particularly of the new Greek and Arab learning, and how this influenced his theological and philosophical investigations. Whilst the main focus of the conference is on Grosseteste, it will also deal with the work of his contemporaries, as well as later writers who drew on his learning, in order to advance the study of science and religion. Keynote speakers include Prof. Tom McLeish and Dr Giles Gasper from Durham University’s Ordered Universe Project and Amanda Power of the University of Sheffield. It is expected that the proceedings of this conference will be published.

Proposals for 40 minutes papers or enquiries should be directed by 31 January to Dr Jack Cunningham,, Bishop Grosseteste University, Lincoln, LN1 3DY, UK. Proposals should be 300-400 words in length and should include you telephone number or e-mail address, as well as your academic affiliation (if any). Further details, as they come available, will appear under the 2014 Conference tab of this site.

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Robert Grosseteste and His Intellectual Milieu: New Editions and Studies

Robert Grosseteste and His Intellectual Milieu: New Editions and Studies
Edited by John Flood, James R. Ginther, and Joseph W. Goering
Papers in Mediaeval Studies 24. Toronto: PIMS, 2013.
ISBN 978–0–88844–824–8 • Cloth • $90.00

Publisher’s websiteIntellectual Milieu

ESSAYS: James R. Ginther, ‘Introduction.’  Neil Lewis, ‘Libertas arbitrii in Robert Grosseteste’s De libero arbitrio.’  Mette Lebech and James McEvoy, ‘Robert Grosseteste’s Understanding of Human Dignity.’  Joseph W. Goering, ‘Robert Grosseteste’s Dicta: The State of the Question.’  James McEvoy, ‘Robert Grosseteste as Spiritual Guide.’  Michael Robson OFM Conv., ‘Robert Grosseteste’s Two Sermons to the Friars Minor in Commendation of Evangelical Poverty.’  Edgar Laird, ‘Robert Grosseteste, Ptolemy, and Christian Knowledge.’  R. James Long, ‘Adam’s Rib: A Test Case for Natural Philosophy in Grosseteste, Fishacre, Rufus, and Kilwardby.’  Cecilia Panti, ‘Robert Grosseteste and Adam of Exeter’s Physics of Light: The Transmission, Authenticity and Chronology of Grosseteste’s Scientific Opuscula.’  John Flood and James McEvoy, ‘Romanorum malleus et contemptor: Confessional Identity and the Early Modern Reputation of Robert Grosseteste.’

TEXTS:  Cecilia Panti, ‘Robert Grosseteste’s De luce: A Critical Edition.’  Neil Lewis, ‘Robert Grosseteste On Light: An English Translation.’  Meridel Holland, ‘Robert Grosseteste’s Translation of John of Damascus’s The Dialogue of the Christian and the Saracen: An Edition and English Translation.’  Michael W. Dunne, ‘“The Ten Commandments of the Lord”: An Edition and English Translation of Robert Grosseteste’s Sermon 86.’

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Thomson’s Catalogue of Grosseteste’s Works Reprinted

S. Harrison Thomson’s The Writings of Robert Grosseteste Bishop of Lincoln, 1235–1253. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1940) has been reprinted and costs £20.00.

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Conference, Cardiff: The Power of the Bishop in the 11th-13th Centuries

‘The aim of this conference is to gain a clearer understanding of the construction, enhancement and expression of episcopal power at a local level in Western Europe. Since a bishop’s local power was intimately connected to the episcopal office and the duties it entailed, the conference will be focused in particular on these activities, such as a bishop’s pastoral responsibilities and his role in the liturgy, and their role in the formation and development of episcopal power. However, the effect on episcopal power of other aspects of a bishop’s role in local society will also be considered, such as his relationship with aristocratic families.’ Cardiff, May 2013.

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