A Peachy Books graphic showing a thorn crown and a diagram of the planets revolving around the sun, on a sand coloured background, that says What Did Jesus and Galileo Have in Common? in brown lettering.
Blog Roll, book reviews, Kids Books, Middle Grade, non-fiction, Sciences

What Did Jesus and Galileo Have In Common?

One might think that the Father of modern science would bear no commonality with the Father of Christianity (son when in the flesh), but there were similarities. 

Jesus grew up in Nazareth, a city in Galilee, and Galileo’s last name was Galilei. Ok, maybe that one is a coincidence. More to the point, both were courageous enough to challenge previously held beliefs about the universe, and both were (at best) misunderstood and punished for their messages. Galileo lived the last of his days under house arrest, and Jesus perished on the cross.

Whether a Christian, a follower of science, or a believer in both, one must admit that history shows how people have rejected change and are unwilling to accept new ideas, beliefs, or innovations.

How is it that we remain unaccepting with thousands of years of separation and drastically different lives? Fear of the unknown is a timeless contributing factor, to be sure, yet I am inclined to believe it is the voices at the top that lead the charge who have the most influence over what is allowed as truth. 

No matter what point in history, there has always been a narrative elicited by those in the power positions, who seek to keep things as they are and as they can control. The proletariat, continually the victims of the prevailing propaganda du jour via politicians and other governmental authorities. By design, the controlling force directs the thoughts of the masses, inert in their apathy, as they are either too comfortable or too afraid to ask questions, myself included.

A people divided are a people easily controlled. Polarisation being the continually viable schtick used by the puppet masters to obfuscate what they benefit from behind, and off, the backs of the citizenry.

The time to question everything is now, like never before. The mechanisms to assist those at the top when manipulating our minds are perfectly manifest in the modern technologies of AI, social media, and the internet at large.

I do not expect change, as this has been the way since time immemorial, but I also cannot help but feel that given the current technologies mentioned, we have the power to turn some of this on its face.

It feels like we are at a fork in the road. If we could only band the people together, we could use the technology that they are so skillfully using against us, to unify and defend against their divide and conquer. 

Am I a dreamer? Probably. But I prefer dreaming big over accepting a scripted nightmare designed to keep me hating my fellow man. I have never been one to roll over and play dead, no matter how impossible things seem, so with something as important as our children’s future as a driving force, I sure as hell am not going to start now. 

There is always common ground to be found, even when belief systems and world views appear to be opposed. You must, however, be willing to look.

Below you will find my reviews for the two Who HQ series volumes detailing the very different, yet sometimes similar, Jesus and Galileo. 

Book cover for Who Was Galileo? by Patricia Brennan Demuth showing a bobble-headed Galileo holding on to a telescope on top of a roof, with a globe sitting beside him.

Who Was Galileo? was the Who HQ book that sparked my, and my son’s, love of this informative and fun series. We were so excited to try out one of these slim, non-fiction paperbacks with the amusing bobblehead covers when searching the library’s website.

We highly enjoyed the rudimentary summary of Galileo’s experiments and discoveries and were deeply frustrated by all that he had to deal with when battling the Inquisition in Rome.

Galileo’s defence of the belief originally put forth by the mathematician Copernicus – that the planets, including Earth, orbited around the sun – was contradictory to the teachings of the Greek philosopher Aristotle, who believed that the Earth was the centre of the universe and everything else orbited it. 

The Catholic Church, at that time, saw the denial of Aristotle’s beliefs to be heresy, and as such Galileo became disgraced and was banished to house arrest for the last eight years of his life. 

Eventually, in 1992, Pope John Paul II proclaimed his despair over the church having persecuted Galileo and his later proven scientific assertions. Too little too late, as they say, but a nod to science and truth, nonetheless.

After enjoying its concise information and the black and white sketches adorned throughout, I decided to take a peek and see if there were any more books in the series available at my favourite discount bookstore. As it turned out, there was a whole slew of these little historical gems just waiting for me, and we now have a big pile to draw from, so stay tuned for our thoughts. 

Book cover for Who Was Jesus? from the Who HQ series, written by Ellen Morgan showing an illustration of Jesus standing by the waters edge with a basket of fish, and fisherman on a boat out in the water.

After being absorbed by the book Who Was Galileo? a couple of weeks ago, my son and I immediately placed an order for a tonne more of the series. I may have gone a little crazy, but they were a good deal, so… Each book offers an escape into the life of a fascinating figure, but after sifting halfway through the pile the lad selected Who Was Jesus? as our first.

My husband and son are of Greek descent, and all of us are baptised Greek Orthodox, so stories about Jesus are not new to our reading rotation. Although not extensive, the timeline gave an appropriate and complete picture of Jesus’ story for my 8-year-olds intellect.

We learned about: Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem, his disciples, the miracles he administered, his enemies, his Crucifixion, the Gospels, and symbols of the Christian faith. We also enjoyed the section that detailed how Jesus was represented in Judaism, Islam, and Hinduism.

Again, I was impressed by the breadth of information provided in such a slim book. The sketches add a richness to the narrative that will keep readers riveted. I am sure most of you have read these already, and I am just late, but if you have not yet, get into them, you won’t be disappointed!


Today’s post is bought to you by the Beatles! Please stop and enjoy this musical interlude to brighten up your busy day. 😉