Science and Salvation

Science and Salvation

Author: Aileen Fyfe

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 9780226276465

Category: Religion

Page: 432

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Threatened by the proliferation of cheap, mass-produced publications, the Religious Tract Society issued a series of publications on popular science during the 1840s. The books were intended to counter the developing notion that science and faith were mutually exclusive, and the Society's authors employed a full repertoire of evangelical techniques—low prices, simple language, carefully structured narratives—to convert their readers. The application of such techniques to popular science resulted in one of the most widely available sources of information on the sciences in the Victorian era. A fascinating study of the tenuous relationship between science and religion in evangelical publishing, Science and Salvation examines questions of practice and faith from a fresh perspective. Rather than highlighting works by expert men of science, Aileen Fyfe instead considers a group of relatively undistinguished authors who used thinly veiled Christian rhetoric to educate first, but to convert as well. This important volume is destined to become essential reading for historians of science, religion, and publishing alike.

Civilization and the Culture of Science

Civilization and the Culture of Science

Author: Stephen Gaukroger

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 9780192588937

Category: Philosophy

Page: 480

View: 752

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How did science come to have such a central place in Western culture? How did cognitive values—and subsequently moral, political, and social ones—come to be modelled around scientific values? In Civilization and the Culture of Science, Stephen Gaukroger explores how these values were shaped and how they began, in turn, to shape those of society. The core nineteenth- and twentieth-century development is that in which science comes to take centre stage in determining ideas of civilization, displacing Christianity in this role. Christianity had provided a unifying thread in the study of the world, however, and science had to match this, which it did through the project of the unity of the sciences. The standing of science came to rest or fall on this question, which the book sets out to show in detail is essentially ideological, not something that arose from developments within the sciences, which remained pluralistic and modular. A crucial ingredient in this process was a fundamental rethinking of the relations between science and ethics, economics, philosophy, and engineering. In his engaging description of this transition to a scientific modernity, Gaukroger examines five of the issues which underpinned this shift in detail: changes in the understanding of civilization; the push to unify the sciences; the rise of the idea of the limits of scientific understanding; the concepts of 'applied' and 'popular' science; and the way in which the public was shaped in a scientific image.