Nineteenth-Century Category

Reinventing Christianity in the Nineteenth Century

Linda Woodhead’s edited volume Reinventing Christianity: Nineteenth-Century Contexts (2001) is a group of portraits exhibiting the range of changes, adjustments, and initiatives in nineteenth-century Christianity. The collection, individually as well as collectively, eschews the standard assessment that Victorian Christianity was a religion in crisis. Its aim is to “introduce the most important varieties of Christianity […]

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John Tyndall, the Pantheist

John Tyndall’s Belfast Address at the British Association for the Advancement of Science in 1874 has been said to be the “chief pronouncement of materialism of the nineteenth century.” But according to Ruth Barton’s “John Tyndall, Pantheist: A Rereading of the Belfast Address” (1987), Tyndall was an admirer of Thomas Carlyle, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and […]

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John William Draper and the Art of Forgetting

In a unique paper on John William Draper, Bradford Vivian uses French Jesuit Michel de Certeau’s philosophy of history to understand the massive “forgetting” that gook place in the nineteenth century. Vivian argues in “The Art of Forgetting: John W. Draper and the Rhetorical Dimensions of History” (1999) that “the rhetorical dynamics of [Draper’s] History […]

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Book History and the History of Science

This morning I began reading the “special section” collection of articles published in The British Journal for the History of Science, entitled “Book History and the Sciences” (2000). Jonathan R. Topham provides an introduction explaining why historians of science have been not a little skeptical about the value of the book history approach. “It is […]

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Wresting with Nature – Science and Place

David N. Livingstone once again wraps things up with his “Science and Place.” Imagining science in the singular has been used by progressivists in the service of “philosophical argument or social policy in order to provide grounds for investment in such cultural capital as intellectual advancement, technical control, and instrumental progress.” But a “geography of […]

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Wrestling with Nature – Science and the Public

The other essay I found particularly interesting is Bernard Lightman’s “Science and the Public.” It was in reviewing Mary Somerville’s popular work, On the Connexion of the Physical Sciences (1834), when English polymath William Whewell (1794-1866) first coined the word “scientist,” used as a umbrella term to avoid the “endless subdivision of the physical sciences.” In […]

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Science and Religion Around the World

As we have seen, one of the most prominent, persistent, and popular myths about science and religion emerged in the nineteenth century. John William Draper (1811-1882), author of History of the Conflict Between Religion and Science (1874), followed by Andrew Dickson White (1832-1918), author of The Warfare of Science (1876) and A History of the […]

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Publishing, Reading, and Inventing Science in the Nineteenth Century

Jonathan R. Topham’s chapter in Science and Religion prompts a more careful examination of the role of science within literature, as well as the cultural embeddedness of science itself. In several other places, Topham offers a more detailed account of the pivotal roles of author, publisher, and reader of nineteenth-century print media, particularly in his […]

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