Robert Grosseteste

Bishop of Lincoln


see caption
Robert Grosseteste
Bishop of Lincoln
Portrait in stained glass.

Public Domain

Robert Grosseteste became one of the most significant bishops in England in the 13th century. Little is known of his early life. He was educated at Oxford and possibly Paris. He was a briliant scholar and from 1224 till his appointment as bishop of Lincoln in 1235 he taught at the new Franciscan house at the University of Oxford.

The Diocese of Lincoln was the largest diocese in England at the time. Grosseteste proved himself a conscientious and efficient bishop. He was a vigorous and determined proponent of the reform of the church. His visits resulted in the tightening up of discipline and improved standards among the clergy. Such changes did not please everybody, and he had some opposition. Grosseteste also resisted royal interference in the English Church. In his interest in reform of the church, Grosseteste strongly influenced John Wickliffe.

Grosseteste was also in conflict with Rome over the policy of appointing Italians to rich English livings, a policy Grosseteste attacked vigorously during a visit to Rome in 1250. He refused to accept the appointment of a nephew of the pope to a living in his diocese.

Like many Franciscans, Grosseteste was unsympathetic to the rediscovered teachings of Aristotle, which emphasised the evidence of the senses as a source of knowledge. Nevertheless, he did much to encourage the emerging scientific method. Roger Bacon expressed his indebtedness to the work of Grosseteste and A.C. Crombie describes him as "the real founder of the tradition of scientific thought in medieval Oxford". Robert Grosseteste was a man of wide interests in both science and theology. He translated a large number of works on philosophy and theology, wrote commentaries on some parts of the Bible, and wrote works on philosophy and theology, his treatise,'On Light', in particular. His theological writings are striking for their penetrating metaphors and similes. In addition he wrote a number of pastoral and devotional works.

BORN: 1175, Stradbroke, Suffolk, England

DIED: 9 October 1253, Buckden, Cambridgeshire, England.

God's Home in the Wilderness
God was in the House,
The House was a Tent.

Picture courtesy of Tough Questions Answered

Sukkot - The Great Hoshana

Sukkot ends today at Nightfall. But it will be the start of Shabbat (Sabbath).

The seventh and last day of the festival is called Hoshanah Rabba, the “Great Hoshana.”

A hoshanah is a series of 7 liturgical poems calling upon God to rescue, the Jewish people, primarily by sending rain. They parade around the synogogue reciting all 7 today. At the conclusion of the seven processions, a special ritual is conducted in which the branches of the willow (the lulav ) are struck upon the ground. This is a symbolic attempt to rid themselves of any remaining sins (the leaves representing these transgressions) that might influence God’s decision to send the seasonal rains. We Christians are lucky all we have to do is Confess our sins, and apologise to God for them. The jumping off place for that is the Confession prayer at Terse today.

As Sukkot ends tonight, the festival of Shemini Atzeret begins.