Back to Volume
Paper: Scripture in the Sky: Jeremias Drexel, Julius Schiller, and the Christianizing of the Constellations
Volume: 441, The Inspiration of Astronomical Phenomena VI
Page: 181
Authors: Mendillo, M.; Shapiro, A.
Abstract: From the times of early Christians up to the Enlightenment, the twelve ancient signs of the zodiac were challenged as highly inappropriate pagan images. The most concerted efforts to replace those signs with names, mottos, and images taken from Holy Scripture occurred in the early decades of the 17th century. We review the background that led to the proposed use of sacred mottos by Jeremias Drexel, and then of the names and images of the Twelve Apostles by Julius Schiller. The reaction of a leading seventeenth-century astronomer is presented to suggest why such changes were never adopted. Finally, we address issues of conflict and motivation that might have led to efforts to Christianize the Heavens.
Back to Volume