Evolution and Religion: The Conflict between Science and Theology in Modern America

By Gail Kennedy | Go to book overview

THE CLASH OF ISSUES

Two Initial Reactions to the Theory: What is Darwinism? It is Atheism.

CHARLES HODGE

Evolution is God's way of doing things.

JOHN FISKE

A Liberal Preacher Attempts Reconciliation:

Evolution, applied to religion, will influence it only as the hidden temples are restored, by removing the sands which have drifted in from the and deserts of scholastic and medieval theologies. It will change theology, but only to bring out the simple temple of God in clearer and more beautiful lines and proportions.

HENRY WARD BEECHER

To Which a Fundamentalist Replies:

Theistic evolution may be defined as an anesthetic which deadens the patient's pain while atheism removes his religion.

WILLIAM JENNINGS BRYAN

The Conflict Becomes Political:

Be it Enacted, by the General Assembly of the State of Tennessee, that it shall be unlawful for any teacher in any of the universities, normals, and all other public schools in the State, which are supported in whole or in part by the public school funds of the State, to teach the theory that denies the story of the divine creation of man as taught in the Bible, and to teach instead that man has descended from a lower order of animals.

Finally, a Humanist Philosopher and a Neo-orthodox Theologian Proffer Opposing Resolutions of the Controversy:

Were we to admit that there is but one method for ascertaining fact and truth-that conveyed by the word "scientific" in its most general and generous sense-no discovery in any branch of knowledge and inquiry could then disturb the faith that is religious.

JOHN DEWEY

Religion had no right to insist on the scientific accuracy of its mythical heritage. From this position a retreat was necessary. That part of mythology which is derived from pre-scientific thought, which does not understand the causal relations in the natural and historical world, must naturally be sacrificed in a scientific age. But there is a permanent as well as a primitive myth in every great mythical heritage. This deals with aspects of reality which are supra-scientific rather than pre-scientific. Modernistic religion has been so thin on the whole because it did not understand this distinction and thus sacrificed what is abiding with what is primitive in religious myth.

REINHOLD NIEBUHR

-xiv-

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Evolution and Religion: The Conflict between Science and Theology in Modern America
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Introduction v
  • Contents xiii
  • The Clash of Issues xiv
  • The Christian Epic 1
  • The Coming of Darwinism 3
  • The Two Revelations 14
  • A Diary of Evolution 21
  • A Reply to Mr. Bryan in The Name of Religion 30
  • The Scopes Trial 35
  • Four Dialogues 52
  • The New Orthodoxy 70
  • The Truth in Myths 82
  • The New Failure of Nerve 88
  • Suggestions for Additional Reading 97
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