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The Post-Darwinian Controversies: A Study of the Protestant Struggle to Come to Terms with Darwin in Great Britain and America, 1870-1900 [Paperback]

James R. Moore
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Book Description

30 Oct 1981 0521285178 978-0521285179 New Ed
The Post-Darwinian Controversies offers an original interpretation of Protestant responses to Darwin after 1870, viewing them in a transatlantic perspective and as a constitutive part of the history of post-Darwinian evolutionary thought. The impact of evolutionary theory on the religious consciousness of the nineteenth century has commonly been seen in terms of a 'conflict' or 'warfare' between science and theology. Dr. Moore's account begins by discussing the polemical origins and baneful effects of the 'military metaphor', and this leads to a revised view of the controversies based on an analysis of the underlying intellectual struggle to come to terms with Darwin. The middle section of the book distinguishes the 'Darwinism' of Darwin himself amid the main currents of post-Darwinian evolutionary thought, and is followed by chapters which examine the responses to Darwin of twenty-eight Christian controversialists, tracing the philosophical and theological lineage of their views. The paradox that emerges - that Darwin's theory was accepted in substance only by those whose theology was distinctly orthodox theology and of other evolutionary theories with liberal and romantic theological speculation.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press; New Ed edition (30 Oct 1981)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521285178
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521285179
  • Product Dimensions: 2.9 x 22.5 x 15 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,780,764 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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' … an important book: one of the best on the historical relations of science and evolution and definitely the best on religion and theology … {Moore} discusses scientific controversies and theological debates with equal skill. no one interested in the history of science and religion should fail to give this book a careful reading.' Isis

'The Post-Darwinism Controversies is an exciting well-argued and richly informative book that both dwarfs and renders obsolete nearly everything previously written about the response made to Darwin by committed Christians in Britain and America.' Reviews in American History

' … its arguments are bold and exciting, its insights stimulating and provocative … Moore's commendable effort substantially alters the Victorian intellectual landscape.' Victorian Studies

Book Description

The Post-Darwinian Controversies offers an original interpretation of Protestant responses to Darwin after 1870, viewing them in a transatlantic perspective and as a constitutive part of the history of post-Darwinian evolutionary thought.

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars History at Its Best 3 Jan 2009
By Neutral VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The conflict between science and religion has traditionally been seen in terms of conflict and war. This was largely because polemicists on each side of the debate were unable to envisage how both could coexist in harmony. James Moore traces the reasons why this was so and offers an alternative interpretation of how Protestant theology responded to the challenge of Darwinism.

To do so Moore examines the historiography of the subject but re-examines original works and the historical context within which they were written. History is rarely without bias but the early proponents of Darwinism as a historical phenomenon had other agendas.

John William Draper, for example, had an avowed anti-Catholic programme in writing his "History of the Conflict Between Religion and Science" which was more "a tract for its times, not a history of them." He was concerned about the perceived power of the Pope at a time when the power of the Papacy was declining not increasing. Draper's bad history set the tone for the debate which followed.

Andrew Dickson White wanted to encourage liberal education - including the liberty of science - to be free from religious influences. He was opposed to what he regarded sectarian dogmatic theology which he likened to the experience of Copernicus and Galileo (conveniently ignoring the historical misrepresentation involved in each case) in seeking to challenge progressive thought based on the scientific method.

Thomas Henry Huxley's avowed aim was to preach the case for science against religion although later in life he dismissed liberal ideas that mankind was born good and is only corrupted by society. In tune with the times he styled himself "gladiator-general" of evolutionary science.
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Congratulations CUP for reprinting this!! 24 Oct 2003
By Chris Hopton - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
James Moore's brilliant and magisterial examination of the so-called conflict between Religion and Science in Victorian Britain has been reprinted by CUP (Nov 2003) and I've just got my hands on a copy. I'd recommend it enthusiastically to anyone who wants to know more about Protestant responses to Darwinism, Huxley and the 'X Club. It's even cheaper than the rare secondhand copies which is a definite bonus.
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