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1. Exposing the ‘Conflict’ Myth

Careful work by a number of historians has now discredited the frequent claim that the relation between science and religion throughout the 19th and 20th centuries was strictly one of ‘warfare’ or ‘conflict’. As Claude Welch points out,Claude Welch, "Dispelling Some Myths About the Split Between Theology and Science in the Nineteenth Century," in Religion and Science: History, Method, Dialogue, ed. W. Mark Richardson and Wesley...the conflict language was inspired in part by the titles of two widely influential booksJohn William Draper, History of the Conflict Between Religion and Science (London and New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1874); Andrew Dickson White, A History of the Warfare of Science with Theology in...: John Draper’s History of the Conflict Between Religion and Science and Andrew Dickson White’s A History of the Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom Apparently the main target of these books was the institutional church, particularly responses to Pope Pius IX’s Syllabus of Errors of 1864. Instead, as Welch argues, there were at least three kinds of response to science in the 19th century: along with “opposition” (e.g., Charles Hodge, Edward Cardinal Manning) there was “cautious mediation” or ‘accomodation’ (e.g., F. D. Maurice, Charles Kingsley, James McCosh, Benjamin B. Warfield, Frederick Temple) and the “exaltation of evolution” or ‘assimilation’ (e.g., Lux Mundi authors such as Audrey Moore, J. R. Illingworth, Henry Ward Beecher, Henry Drummond).

Contributed by: Dr. Robert Russell

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Current Stats: topics: >2600, links: >300,000, video: 200 hours.