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Title: Debating science and religion : towards a comparative geography of public controversy, 1874-1895
Author: Wood, David Mark
Awarding Body: Queen's University Belfast
Current Institution: Queen's University Belfast
Date of Award: 2012
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Abstract:
This thesis is a contribution to the growing number of studies aimed at clarifying the exact nature of encounters between religion and science in the nineteenth century. Owing to the writings of John William Draper (1811-82) and Andrew Dickson White (1832-1918), and, indeed, to the recent efforts new atheists such as Richard Dawkins, the image of intrinsic, deadly and enduring conflict has been firmly rooted in the public consciousness. By attending to the specifics of geographical location, and by being sensitive to the ways in which local cultural conditions shaped their encounters, this dissertation sheds further light on the complex, intricate and capricious interrelations between science and religion and demonstrates that the so-called 'nineteenth-century relationship' cannot be exclusively read as one of battle. Using 1874-1895 as its time frame, and through a historio-geographical examination of four public controversies, namely, the Irish Catholic response to Tyndall's presidential address before the British Association for the Advancement of Science at Belfast in 1874, the Dunedin Presbyterian reaction to Alfred Robertson Fitchett's The Ethics of Evolution in 1876, the spectacle surrounding Alexander Winchell's dismissal from the Methodist-controlled Vanderbilt University in Nashville in 1878, and the furore sparked within the Free Church of Scotland following the publication of Henry Drurnmond's The Ascent of Man in 1894, this thesis demonstrates how late-nineteenth century encounters between religion and science were clearly products of particular geographical locations and, for that reason, varied from place to place, location to location, site to site.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.557853  DOI: Not available
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