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Protestant Modernist Pamphlets

Science and Religion in the Scopes Era

A critical edition of ten rare pamphlets on science and religion published from 1922–1931 by the University of Chicago Divinity School.

In the years surrounding the Scopes trial in 1925, liberal Protestant scientists, theologians, and clergy sought to diminish opposition to evolution and to persuade American Christians to adopt more positive attitudes toward modern science. With funding from the Rockefeller Foundation and many leading scientists, the University of Chicago Divinity School published a series of ten pamphlets on science and religion to counter William Jennings Bryan's efforts to ban evolution in public schools.

In Protestant Modernist Pamphlets, historian Edward B. Davis, who discovered these pamphlets, reprints them with extensive editorial comments, annotations, and introductions to each. Based on unpublished correspondence and internal Divinity School documents, these introductions narrate the origin of the pamphlets, as well as their funding sources and how readers reacted to them. Letters from dozens of top scientists at the time reveal their previously unknown views on God and the relationship between science and religion. Viewed together, the pamphlets and Davis's critical assessment of their historical importance provide an intriguing perspective on Protestant modernist encounters with science in the early twentieth century.

About the Author

Edward B. Davis is professor emeritus of the history of science at Messiah University and a fellow of the International Society for Science & Religion. He is the coeditor of The Works of Robert Boyle and Robert Boyle: A Free Enquiry into the Vulgarly Received Notion of Nature.

Johns Hopkins University Press
Medicine, Science, and Religion in Historical Context
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