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Jay O. Sanders, left, as Galileo and Edward Hermann as Pope Urban VIII in the Huntington Theater Company's production of Richard Goodwin's play "Two Men of Florence." (Courtesy Huntington Theater Company)
Jay O. Sanders, left, as Galileo and Edward Hermann as Pope Urban VIII in the Huntington Theater Company's production of Richard Goodwin's play "Two Men of Florence." (Courtesy Huntington Theater Company)

What he saw there, and all around him, put him on a collision course with the Church. Before that epic clash of faith and science was over, Galileo had tangled with a pope — and lost.

Science marched on. So did the fight. It’s still in the headlines. And now, on stage, in a dramatic recreation of the clash by former JFK speechwriter Richard Goodwin.

This hour, On Point: Faith and science, Galileo and the pope, tangle again.

You can join the conversation. With stem cells, global warming, and all the rest, is the battle between faith and reason really over? Is it ever over? Can, should, one side win?Guests:

With us in our studio today are:

Richard Goodwin, author, speechwriter and playwright. He was adviser and speechwriter to JFK, LBJ, and Robert Kennedy. His play, just opened in Boston’s Huntington theater, is “Two Men of Florence.”

Jay O. Sanders plays Galileo Galilei in the Huntington production of "Two Men of Florence."  He has a long list of stage, film and TV credits to his name: "Revolutionary Road," "Cadillac Records," "Glory," "Law & Order," and much more.

Edward Hermann plays Cardinal Maffeo Barberini, who goes on, in the play, as in history, to become Pope Urban VIII, Galileo’s inquisitor. A Tony Award winner, in his long film and TV career he has starred in “Reds,” “Annie,” “The Purple Rose of Cairo,” "Law & Order," and "M*A*S*H."

Watch a trailer for "Two Men of Florence" and a mini-documentary about the Huntington Theater production:

This program aired on March 13, 2009.

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