Since ancient times, religion has adapted itself to the prevailing cosmology, and the original study of astronomy was motivated in part by the need to set a calendar for religious feasts. Modern science began in the 17th century with the work of Galileo, Kepler, Newton, and many other lesser-known but still important scientists such as Riccioli. As the only international institution running universities and other centers of learning, the Church has had a long history of supporting, and influencing, how science developed during this time. Over the years, as science changed, the nature of this relationship also changed.

Ancient and Medieval World Views
17th Century
18th Century
19th Century
20th Century