Book ID: CBB001422609

Dealing with Darwin: Place, Politics, and Rhetoric in Religious Engagements with Evolution (2014)


Livingstone, David N. (Author)

Johns Hopkins University Press

Publication Date: 2014
Physical Details: x + 265 pp.; bibl.; index
Language: English

Using place, politics, and rhetoric as analytical tools, historical geographer David N. Livingstone investigates how religious communities sharing a Scots Presbyterian heritage engaged with Darwin and Darwinism at the turn of the twentieth century. His findings, presented as the prestigious Gifford Lectures, transform our understandings of the relationship between science and religion. The particulars of place---whether in Edinburgh, Belfast, Toronto, Princeton, or Columbia, South Carolina---shaped the response to Darwin's theories. Were they tolerated, repudiated, or welcomed? Livingstone shows how Darwin was read in different ways, with meaning distilled from Darwin's texts depending on readers' own histories---their literary genealogies and cultural preoccupations. That the theory of evolution fared differently in different places, Livingstone writes, is "exactly what Darwin might have predicted. As the theory diffused, it diverged." Dealing with Darwin shows the profound extent to which theological debates about evolution were rooted in such matters as anxieties over control of education, the politics of race relations, the nature of local scientific traditions, and challenges to traditional cultural identity. In some settings, conciliation with the new theory, even endorsement, was possible---demonstrating that attending to the specific nature of individual communities subverts an inclination to assume a single relationship between science and religion in general, evolution and Christianity in particular.

Reviewed By

Review Myrna Perez Sheldon (2016) Review of "Brief Candle in the Dark: My Life in Science". Historical Studies in the Natural Sciences (pp. 538-547). unapi

Review J. David Pleins (2016) Review of "Dealing with Darwin: Place, Politics, and Rhetoric in Religious Engagements with Evolution". Isis: International Review Devoted to the History of Science and Its Cultural Influences (pp. 205-206). unapi

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Authors & Contributors
Ryan, Frank X.
Hamlin, Kimberly Ann
Hoeveler, J. David
Largent, Mark Aaron
England, Richard K.
Holmes, Andrew R.
Osiris: A Research Journal Devoted to the History of Science and Its Cultural Influences
British Journal for the History of Science
Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences
Science and Education
Journal of the History of Biology
Oxford University Press
Random House
Southern Illinois University Press
Academic Press
Science and religion
Science and literature
Darwin, Charles Robert
Tyndall, John
Gilman, Charlotte Perkins
Spencer, Herbert
Carnegie, Andrew
Lincoln, Abraham
United States
Great Britain
19th century
20th century, early
20th century
18th century
20th century, late
17th century
Presbyterian Church

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