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Clavius Distinguished Lecture

Comets, Craters, and Calendars:
Christopher Clavius, S.J. (1538 - 1612)

Monday, October 1, 2018 | 1 p.m.
Bepler Commons | Faber Hall
Rose Hill Campus

Welcome

Michael C. McCarthy, S.J.
Vice President, Mission Integration and Planning, Fordham University

Keynote Address

Paul R. Mueller, S.J.
Superior of the Jesuit Community at the Vatican Observatory in Castel Gandolfo, Italy, and in Tucson, Arizona

In this year marking the 480th anniversary of the birth of Christopher Clavius, S.J., it seems appropriate for this lecture series, named in his honor, to focus on his life and legacy. That legacy ranges from the Gregorian calendar, which is the calendar that we all use today, to the Stanley Kubrick film 2001: A Space Odyssey. It ranges from popular textbooks to worldwide curricular reform. And it ranges from the history of science in China to the Vatican Observatory, which Pope Gregory XIII established in 1580 to help confirm and refine astronomical observations made in support of Clavius’ reform of the Gregorian calendar. Paul Mueller, S.J., who serves as vice director of the modern-day Vatican Observatory, will explore Clavius’ life and work in their early-modern context and illuminate his enduring legacy for modern science, religion, and culture.

RSVP for the Lecture

Event Schedule

Paul R. Mueller, S.J.
Superior of the Jesuit Community at the Vatican Observatory in Castel Gandolfo, Italy, and in Tucson, Arizona

Panel Discussion
Maura Mast, Ph.D.
Dean, Fordham College at Rose Hill

Xiaolan Zhang, Ph.D. Chair,
Department of Computer and Information Science, Fordham University

John Cunningham, S.J. Chair,
Department of Physics, Fordham University

Moderator
D. Frank Hsu, Ph.D.
Clavius Distinguished Professor of Science
Department of Computer and Information Science, Fordham University

Reception to Follow

About Christopher Clavius, S.J.

Christopher Clavius, S.J., was a celebrated 16th-century mathematician and astronomer. In 1582, upon request from Pope Gregory XIII, Clavius helped develop the Gregorian calendar, which is still in use today. For 45 years, Clavius was a university professor at the Jesuit-run Collegio Romano, now known as the Pontifical Gregorian University, where he advocated master classes to position Jesuit trainees at the forefront of European scholarship. One of his students, Matteo Ricci, S.J., later translated Clavius’ works into Chinese, which ushered in a period of scientific innovations in China. Widely considered the most influential scholar and teacher of the Renaissance, Clavius was an early advocate of Galileo Galilei, whose heliocentric model of the universe upended the longstanding Ptolemaic system.