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Darwin's Religious Odyssey - William E. Phipps

Darwin's Religious Odyssey

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In the twenty-first century, Charles Darwin and his theory of evolution remain at the centre of religious controversy. More than any scientific discovery, his work seems to challenge world religions and cause ordinary religious people to confront their own core values.

With all we know about his ideas on geology and biology, we know much less about Darwin s own journey of faith. In Darwin's Religious Odyssey, William Phipps uses newly available material to explore the evolution of Darwin's religious outlook.

It is a fascinating faith odyssey, because it mirrors the struggles of other scientists trying to harmonise their findings with their own religious world views. Darwin's detractors tend to depict him as an anti-religious man determined to undermine biblical faith; even some of Darwin s admirers agree. Yet Darwin's autobiography and his journals tell a much different story.

It is clear that Darwin did not sail directly from Christian orthodoxy to atheistic materialism. His journals, for example, disclose an attempt to reconcile his evolutionary views with Anglican doctrines. Phipps paints the important aspect of Darwin's religious life against the background of his times.

This book examines not only Darwin's changing theology but compares his religious and moral viewpoints with those of his family and associates. Phipps concludes that Darwin was both a product of his religious culture and the shaper of future scientific culture.

About the Author

William Phipps is Professor Emeritus of Religion and Philosophy, Davis and Elkins College. His numerous books on sexual themes in biblical and church history include Genesis and Gender, Was Jesus Married? and Influential Theologians on Wo/Man. He lives in Richmond, Virginia.

"William E. Phipps aims to provide a balanced overview of Darwin's religious development, using the latest resources of Darwin scholarship and documentation. He sets out the available evidence, making good use of Darwin's notebooks and correspondence, and devoting a chapter to each main phase of his life. The book succeeds in its aim of presenting a balanced, comprehensive, and up-to-date account of Darwin's religious views. It is well researched, clearly written, and accurate. It is timely and welcome." -"Science and Christian Belief, "April 2006 "

A Selective Darwin-Wedgwood Genealogy
Growing up Anglicanp. 1
The Christian Voyagerp. 16
The Unorthodox Theoristp. 31
The Evolutionary Tree of Lifep. 59
Religious Controversies over Natural Selectionp. 80
The Homo Sapiens Creationp. 107
Final Personal Considerationsp. 141
Theological Conclusionsp. 172
Selected Bibliographyp. 202
Indexp. 205

ISBN: 9781563383847
ISBN-10: 1563383845
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 207
Published: 1st September 2002
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.9 x 17.2  x 1.575
Weight (kg): 0.38
Edition Number: 1