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

By David N. Livingstone

Using position, politics, and rhetoric as analytical instruments, old geographer David N. Livingstone investigates how spiritual groups sharing a Scots Presbyterian background engaged with Darwin and Darwinism on the flip of the 20 th century. His findings, provided because the prestigious Gifford Lectures, rework 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 indicates how Darwin was once learn in numerous methods, with that means distilled from Darwin's texts looking on readers' personal histories―their literary genealogies and cultural preoccupations. That the idea of evolution fared otherwise elsewhere, Livingstone writes, is "exactly what Darwin may have expected. because the thought 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 keep watch over of schooling, the politics of race kinfolk, the character of neighborhood clinical traditions, and demanding situations to conventional cultural id. In a few settings, conciliation with the recent conception, even endorsement, was once possible―demonstrating that getting to the explicit nature of person groups subverts a bent to imagine a unmarried dating among technology and faith ordinarily, 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 range this day simply up to they did within the past.

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

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19 A couple of years later Robert Flint (1838–1910), who moved from the chair of moral philosophy and political economy in Saint Andrews to assume the professorship of divinity in Edinburgh University in 1876, was working hard to develop an evolutionary natural theology.  . which gives rise of a struggle for existence,” the “law of sexual selection,” and even the “law, or so-called law, of natural selection” could all be read as expressions of divine purpose and the manifestations of a deeper teleology.

This “reading of man’s practices into the cosmos,” he urged, was mistaken.  . all too human. ” It was “the more virulent form of human competition” that had been installed as the driving force of Darwinian explanation.  .  .  . [T]he struggle for existence may neither be so keen nor so fierce as we have supposed it to be. ”41 None of these assertions meant that Iverach was unenthusiastic for the insights of evolutionary biology. Indeed, he was willing to pursue its operations beyond the origin and transmutation of animal species into certain other domains.

Hans Henrik Hjermitslev demonstrates how these local internal theological disputes and the stances that interlocutors adopted were bound up with “specific doctrines within local theological contexts,” which, in turn, “had a crucial impact” on how the Darwinian challenge was handled. ”86 In Grundtvigian spaces, Darwin was talked about in markedly distinctive ways. In late nineteenth-century Scotland, Darwin’s name, as hero or villain, was marshaled for the wider cultural purpose of maintaining a sense of geopolitical identity.

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