Dealing with Darwin : place, politics, and rhetoric in by David N. Livingstone

By David N. Livingstone

Using position, politics, and rhetoric as analytical instruments, historic geographer David N. Livingstone investigates how non secular groups sharing a Scots Presbyterian history engaged with Darwin and Darwinism on the flip of the 20th century. His findings, awarded because the prestigious Gifford Lectures, remodel our understandings of the connection among technological know-how and religion.

The details of place―whether in Edinburgh, Belfast, Toronto, Princeton, or Columbia, South Carolina―shaped the reaction to Darwin’s theories. have been they tolerated, repudiated, or welcomed? Livingstone exhibits how Darwin used to be learn in numerous methods, with which means distilled from Darwin's texts looking on readers' personal histories―their literary genealogies and cultural preoccupations. That the idea of evolution fared in a different way somewhere else, Livingstone writes, is "exactly what Darwin may have anticipated. because the conception subtle, it diverged."

Dealing with Darwin indicates the profound quantity to which theological debates approximately evolution have been rooted in such issues as anxieties over regulate of schooling, the politics of race kinfolk, the character of neighborhood medical traditions, and demanding situations to standard cultural identification. In a few settings, conciliation with the hot idea, even endorsement, used to be possible―demonstrating that getting to the categorical nature of person groups subverts a bent to imagine a unmarried dating among technological know-how and faith normally, evolution and Christianity specifically.

Livingstone concludes with modern examples to remind us that what scientists can say and what others can listen in numerous venues vary this day simply up to they did within the past.

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Additional resources for Dealing with Darwin : place, politics, and rhetoric in religious engagements with evolution

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In late Victorian Scotland, Henry Drummond’s promotion of a Darwinized theology afforded another occasion for Free Church Locating Encounters with Evolution 25 Highlanders—already exasperated by the inroads modernity was making into their denomination—to lodge a series of protests about the reckless direction in which the church was hurtling. In this clash the fortunes of Darwinian evolution were umbilically connected to matters of cultural identity. In early 1880s Beirut, the American missionary fraternity, already unsettled by the course the Syrian Protestant College was embarked on, fastened on Edwin Lewis’s concessions to Darwin in order to challenge the new—and to them newfangled—wisdom on the role that science and technology should play in the curriculum of a missionarybased American college.

92 The roots of the college itself were embedded in earlier American missionary interests in the Middle East. As part of its operations, scientific subjects were increasingly promoted as a means of demonstrating the superiority of Protestant rationality over what was considered to be a more superstitious Islam and, indeed, Eastern church. Accordingly, over the years, such “enlightening” disciplines as natural philosophy, geography, astronomy, and logic were integrated into the curriculum. Missionizing and modernizing clearly went together.

83 As these interventions make clear, attending to the role of place, politics, and rhetoric in the controversy over Winchell exposes elements that the standard “enlightened-science-versus-religious-obscurantism” version of events entirely fails to capture. Courtesy of Winchell’s pronouncements, the board of trustees at Vanderbilt University now occupied a rhetorical space in which evolution and polygenism were intimately intertwined. Racial polygeny became the lens through which that community’s dealings with Darwin were refracted.

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