The Sublime Cosmic Abyss and the Bruno Exemplum in Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey

This article investigates the persuasive practice involved in the sublime depiction of space and the execution of Giordano Bruno in Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey (2014). After a brief discussion of the aesthetic of the sublime, I explore how the writers and producers of Cosmos, first, attempt to evoke...

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Bibliographic Details
Published in:Journal of religion and popular culture
Main Author: Owen, Corey
Format: Electronic Article
Language:English
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Published: [2020]
In:Journal of religion and popular culture
Year: 2020, Volume: 32, Issue: 1, Pages: 1-14
Standardized Subjects / Keyword chains:B Bruno, Giordano 1548-1600 / Execution / Cosmos, a spacetime odyssey / The Sublime
Further subjects:B Depictions of the Counter-Reformation in Popular Culture
B Scientism
B Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey
B Rhetorical criticism
B The sublime
B Giordano Bruno
Online Access: Verlag
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Summary:This article investigates the persuasive practice involved in the sublime depiction of space and the execution of Giordano Bruno in Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey (2014). After a brief discussion of the aesthetic of the sublime, I explore how the writers and producers of Cosmos, first, attempt to evoke an experience of the sublime and, second, adapt the trial and execution of Giordano Bruno in order to redirect the emotional arousal of the sublime experience, dividing the complex aesthetic experience into its positive and negative valences—awe and fear; they claim the former for scientism and project the latter onto non-scientific epistemologies, which, in this case, are represented by the Catholic Church. Ultimately, such a persuasive practice aims to regulate the boundaries of scientific identity and secure public patronage of scientific institutions; however, it risks alienating crucial audiences in a time when anti-intellectualism is flourishing.
ISSN:1703-289X
Contains:Enthalten in: Journal of religion and popular culture
Persistent identifiers:DOI: 10.3138/jrpc.2017-0072