Storm of Words is a study of the ways that southern Presbyterians in the wake of the Civil War contended with a host of cultural and theological questions, chief among them developments in natural history and evolution.Southern Presbyterian theologians enjoyed a prominent position in antebellum southern culture Respected for both their erudition and elite constituency, these theologians identified the southern society as representing a divine, Biblically ordained order Beginning in the 1840s, however, this facile identification became difficult to maintain, colliding first with antislavery polemics, then with Confederate defeat and reconstruction, and later with women s rights, philosophical empiricism, literary criticisms of the Bible, and that most salient symbol of modernity, natural science.As Monte Harrell Hampton shows in Storm of Words, modern science seemed most explicitly to express the rationalistic spirit of the age and threaten the Protestant conviction that science was the faithful handmaid of theology Southern Presbyterians disposed of some of these threats with ease Contemporary geology, however, posed thornier problems Ambivalence over how to respond to geology led to the establishment in 1859 of the Perkins Professorship of Natural Science in Connexion with Revealed Religion at the seminary in Columbia, South Carolina Installing scientist theologian James Woodrow in this position, southern Presbyterians expected him to defend their positions.Within twenty five years, however, their anointed expert held that evolution did not contradict scripture Indeed, he declared that it was in fact God s method of creating The resulting debate was the first extended evolution controversy in American history It drove a wedge between those tolerant of new exegetical and scientific developments and the majority who opposed such openness Hampton argues that Woodrow believed he was shoring up the alliance between science and scripture that a circumscribed form of evolution did no violence to scriptural infallibility The traditionalists view, however, remained interwoven with their identity as defenders of the Lost Cause and guardians of southern culture.The ensuing debate triggered Woodrow s dismissal It also capped a modernity crisis experienced by an influential group of southern intellectuals who were grappling with the nature of knowledge, both scientific and religious, and its relationship to culture a culture attempting to define itself in the shadow of the Civil War and Reconstruction....
|Title||:||Storm of Words: Science, Religion, and Evolution in the Civil War Era (Religion & American Culture)|
|Publisher||:||University Alabama Press First edition July 31, 2014|
|Number of Pages||:||360 pages|
|File Size||:||865 KB|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Storm of Words: Science, Religion, and Evolution in the Civil War Era (Religion & American Culture) Reviews
Exceptional study of how Southern Presbyterianism in the period of the Civil War turned the issue of creation vs. evolution into not only a debate about how best to read the Bible but also how best to be conformed to southern culture. This is a scholarly study but enjoyable, readable and insightful.