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A History of the Warfare of Science with Theology (Vol.1)
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White, Andrew Dickson
This extraordinary and scarce work by Andrew Dickson White (1832-1918), a professor and co-founder of Cornell University, is a unique study of the progress of humankind under two duelling forces: theology and science. White traces the evolution of human thought through a series of contrasts of ancient and modern theories of the world to show the impact of scientific research on the outmoded attitude of biblical literalism. Taking in an enormous range of subjects--including geography, astronomy, geology, chemistry, physics, medicine, psychology and economics--White illustrates the victory of empiricism over superstition, of scientific method and 'reason' over fundamentalism. White's aim was to show that the Church's attacks on scientific progress resulted in 'the direst evils both to religion and to science' and, more broadly, his study points up the dangers inherent in the religious control of higher education (at a time when nearly all universities in the USA and Europe were still under ecclesiastical control). Cornell University was established on the principle that education should not be under the control of political parties or religious sects--an idea greeted at the time with hostile accusations of Darwinism and atheism. But White was in fact deeply religious and his hope was to strengthen and purify theology by eliminating its antiscientific concerns. This excellent treatise finds special relevance today when academic freedom is once again under pressure from political and religious groups. It should now find a place in the libraries of all theologians, philosophers and historians.
New York: D. Appleton and Company
Religion; Christianity; Science