Theses and Dissertations, 1960-1969
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- The Anti-Evolution Crusade in the South, 1920-1927 by Albert A. Bell. Thesis (Masters), Duke University. 147 p.
- The Attitudes of the Princeton Theologians Toward Darwinism and Evolution From 1859-1929 by Deryl Freeman Johnson. Dissertation (Ph.D.), School of Religion, University of Iowa. 310 p.
At the time of the publication of the Origin of Species, Princeton Theological Seminary, the first and leading seminary of the American Presbyterian Church founded in 1812, was approaching its fiftieth anniversary. As with most theological schools of the Reformed tradition it had a strong doctrinal emphasis. During the first fifty years of the Seminary its first two theological professors, Archibald Alexander and Charles Hodge set the pattern of vigorously defending their version of Calvinism against divergent theologies and against philosophies which seemed to undermine Christian doctrine. These theologians and their successors at Princeton were instrumental in the training of thousands of ministers of the Presbyterian and other churches. Many of them became teachers in colleges and other seminaries. Through their teaching and their writing they came to influence at least indirectly a significant portion of the ministers and laity in the United States.
After the Civil War, the development of various movements which caused pressures without and ferment within the churches and its seminaries, especially in the north, resulted in many changes in theology. Among these developments were the higher criticism of the Bible, the study of comparative religions, philosophies which had their origin in Kant and Hegel, the industrial revolution, and the developments of science, especially the biological theory of evolution. As a result of these challenges most of the seminaries with whose professors those of Princeton had had verbal battle over the years had modified their theologies. Typically, the Princeton professors resisted these pressures, defended their historical position, and vigorously attacked those positions which seemed to threaten it.
Although the theory of evolution and Darwinism claimed to be only a theory of science and not a philosophy and although Charles Hodge and the Princeton school generally were sympathetic with the scientific method, Hodge felt that Darwinism at points merged into a philosophical viewpoint which seemed to undermine Christian theology.
- A Rhetorical Analysis of The Origin of Species and of American Christianity's Response to Darwinism by John Angus Campell. Dissertation (Ph.D.), School of Arts and Sciences, University of Pittsburgh. 377 p.
The two major assessments of the response of American Christianity to Darwin were written over thirty years ago. While fresh impetus to Darwinian studies was given by the Centenary of On the Origin of Species in 1959, out of which emerged a detailed analysis of the response of the English public by Alvar Ellegard, no new assessments of the American response to Darwin's revolutionary book were forth-coming. Both of the earlier studies, Bert J. Lowenberg's various articles and Windsor Hall Robert's dissertation, remain valuable contributions to the subject. The publication, however, of Charles Coulston Gillispie's classic Genesis and Geology has placed the entire subject in a slightly different light. By illustrating the legitimate religious expectations encouraged by the advancement of Geology in the seventy years between Hutton's Theory of the Earth and Darwin's On The Origin of Species, Gillispie has established a groundwork of assumptions potentially illuminating for a reassessment of the response of American Christianity to Darwin.
- The Anti-Evolution Movement in Arkansas by Leo T. Sweeney. Thesis (Masters), University of Arkansas. 131 p.