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Disseminating Darwinism: The Role of Place, Race, Religion, and Gender [Paperback]

Ronald L. Numbers , John Stenhouse

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Book Description

6 Aug 2001
This innovative collection of original essays focuses on the ways in which geography, gender, race, and religion influenced the reception of Darwinism in the English-speaking world of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Although studies of Darwin and Darwinism have increased dramatically in the past few decades, knowledge of how various groups and regions responded to Darwinism remains unknown. The contributions to this volume collectively illustrate the importance of local social, physical, and religious arrangements, while showing that neither distance from Darwin's home at Down nor size of community greatly influenced how various regions responded to Darwinism. Essays spanning the world from Great Britain and North America to Australia and New Zealand explore the various meanings for Darwinism in these widely separated locales, while other chapters focus on the difference it made in the debates over evolution.

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'Anyone, academic or otherwise, who is fascinated with the history of antagonism over this scientific revolution will find Disseminating Darwinism instructive and compelling.' Beliefnet

'When it would seem impossible to introduce new factors into our understanding of Darwinism, these essays do just that. In remarkably lively and unexpected ways, they demonstrate the varying responses to Darwin's thought arising from diverse geographic, ethnic, and religious communities. They provide new paths to understanding Darwinism as the debate over those ideas enters the new century.' Frank M. Turner, Yale University

'In an era of historical scholarship increasingly sensitive to regional and group differences, the ten essays in this volume introduce readers to a rich variety of late-nineteenth-century responses to Darwinism - and the scientific and social meaning of Darwinism was a chief intellectual issue of that era. Through these essays, students and scholars alike will gain new insight into a lively intellectual debate that continues today.' Edward J. Larson, University of Georgia

'This is just the book we need for exploring the controversial reception - and rejection - of Darwinism across the globe. The authors show how there never was a simple or static Darwin: that his ideas changed as much as those of his famous defenders, and his exciting Origin of Species inspired very different responses in different places. These leading scholars take us far into the history of diverse cultures and different social groupings, ranging from Canada to the American South, from Englishwomen to black, Roman Catholics, and Protestant Irish, looking at the views of local communities and revealing the defining features of heated Darwin debates as they were experienced by real people, in real places.' Janet Browne, British Journal for the History of Science

'this short review cannot do justice to the importance of this book … CUP must again be congratulated on publishing the hard and soft back editions of this book simultaneously.' Open History

'The essays in this collection are worth serious attention, as each demonstrates that the debate surrounding Darwin's theory that goes far beyond the simple dichotomies of 'faith' verus 'science', and in doing so, each of the contributors have given the history of Darwinism the depth and breadth it deserves.' Journal of Religious History

Book Description

Focuses on the ways in which geography, gender, race, and religion influenced the reception of Darwinism from about 1850 to 1915. Essays spanning the world explore the various meanings of Darwinism in these widely separated locales, while other chapters focus on the difference it made in the debates over evolution.

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In recent years there has been a remarkable "spatial turn" among students of society and culture. Read the first page
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Disseminating Darwinism 26 Jun 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
A thoroughly engaging and informative read. Numbers and Stenhouse have compiled papers that challenge the conception that vervent religious beliefs are incompatable with evolutionary thinking. A particularly brilliant essay on the impact of evolutionary thought on early feminists clearly illustrates the main point of the book: evolutionary logic was used to justify many different (and sometimes antithetical) political positions. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in the history of evolution!
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