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Creationism in Europe

, 296 pages

7 halftones, 4 line drawings

October 2014



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Creationism in Europe

For decades, the creationist movement was primarily situated in the United States. Then, in the 1970s, American creationists found their ideas welcomed abroad, first in Australia and New Zealand, then in Korea, India, South Africa, Brazil, and elsewhere—including Europe, where creationism plays an expanding role in public debates about science policy and school curricula. In this, the first comprehensive history of creationism in Europe, leading historians, philosophers, and scientists narrate the rise of—and response to—scientific creationism, creation science, intelligent design, and organized antievolutionism in countries and religions throughout Europe.

Providing a unique map of creationism in Europe, the authors chart the surprising history of creationist activities and strategies there. Over the past forty years, creationism has spread swiftly among European Catholics, Protestants, Jews, Hindus, and Muslims, even as anti-creationists sought to smother its flames. Antievolution messages gained such widespread approval, in fact, that in 2007 the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe passed a resolution advising member states to "defend and promote scientific knowledge" and "firmly oppose the teaching of creationism as a scientific discipline on an equal footing with the theory of evolution."

Creationism in Europe offers a discerning introduction to the cultural history of modern Europe, the variety of worldviews in Europe, and the interplay of science and religion in a global context. It will be of interest to students and scholars in the history and philosophy of science, religious studies, and evolutionary theory, as well as policy makers and educators concerned about the spread of creationism in our time.

Stefaan Blancke is a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Philosophy and Moral Science at Ghent University. Hans Henrik Hjermitslev is an assistant professor of social science at University College South Denmark. Peter C. Kjærgaard is a professor of evolutionary studies and director of the Centre for Biocultural History at Aarhus University.

"A valuable overview of creationist efforts and activities in Europe through historical or journalistic narratives. Each chapter tells us more than we knew before."

"One of the more fascinating late releases in science books this year... Highly recomended."

"This is a fascinating book... It takes what is a uniquely American phenomena and puts it into an entirely new context."

"This first comprehensive contribution on creationism in Europe skilfully traces the threads of historiography, Philosophy, Sociology, Biology and other sciences, from the 19th century to the 21st century, focusing on the rise of a response to the creation science, intelligent design, and antievolutionism in a variety of European countries and regions... Creationism in Europe is a provocative contribution to the current European and global historiography. It offers plenty of scope for developing new ideas that European scholars could take to their own research, and use to expand or modify their own perspective."

"A significant contribution toward filling a major gap in the literature..."

"This science versus the Bible debate will not go away anytime soon. This book ought to be... essential reading for anyone involved in or concerned about the issues it raises."

" Creationism in Europe must be on our reading lists."

"As a well-edited compendium of essays in which each chapter explores the history of organized creationism (and opposition to it) in a specific country or region, Creationism in Europe is both authoritative and comprehensive."

" Creationism in Europe marks a serious advance in the social and historical understanding of antievolutionist activism in Europe."

"This is a fine collection of essays on an understudied topic, and will provide an essential starting point for any further research of European creationism. It is uniformly well written, accessible to the non-specialist, and makes a vital contribution to the existing scholarship."

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