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Negotiating Darwin

, 336 pages

7 halftones

August 2006



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Negotiating Darwin

The Vatican Confronts Evolution, 1877–1902

Drawing on primary sources made available to scholars only after the archives of the Holy Office were unsealed in 1998, Negotiating Darwin chronicles how the Vatican reacted when six Catholics—five clerics and one layman—tried to integrate evolution and Christianity in the decades following the publication of Darwin's Origin of Species.

As Mariano Artigas, Thomas F. Glick, and Rafael A. Martínez reconstruct these cases, we see who acted and why, how the events unfolded, and how decisions were put into practice. With the long shadow of Galileo's condemnation hanging over the Church as the Scientific Revolution ushered in new paradigms, the Church found it prudent to avoid publicly and directly condemning Darwinism and thus treated these cases carefully.

The authors reveal the ideological and operational stance of the Vatican and describe its secret deliberations. In the process, they provide insight into current debates on evolution and religious belief.

Mariano Artigas is a professor of philosophy at Universidad de Navarra, Pamplona, Spain. Thomas F. Glick is a professor of history at Boston University. Rafael A. Martínez is a professor of philosophy at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross, Rome.

" Negotiating Darwin provides an assessment of the Vatican's policy toward evolutionism during the last quarter of the nineteenth century. Within the context of six case studies, the book displays painstaking knowledge of documents from the Vatican's archives and a thorough awareness of the interpretive issues involved. This is a major, scholarly contribution to the field. "

"A well-documented scholarly work."

"This is a fine study of the Church's response to Darwin and evolutionism in the late-nineteenth century... The work will appeal to a wide readership."

"This book is both a cautionary tale and a welcome piece of historical research."

" Negotiating Darwin is a very important book."

"Those interested in the history of science and religion and Catholic scholars will find this book useful."

"A well-researched and insightful study."

" Negotiating Darwin currently offers the only detailed picture based on the Vatican archive of the actions of the Catholic Church towards authors of evolutionary tracts... should be read by anyone interested in the reception of Darwinism or the relationship between science and religion."

"Historians will enjoy its meticulous scholarship, and even non-historians will find this a useful book."

"A painstaking study of the archival material that will stand as a basic reference for the history of the Catholic Church's official response to attempts to reconcile Catholicism and evolutionism in the late nineteenth century."

" Negotiating Darwin is an important work of archival scholarship."

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