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Divine variations : how Christian thought became racial science

Author: Terence Keel
Publisher: Stanford, California : Stanford University Press, [2018]
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
Divine Variations offers a new account of the development of scientific ideas about race. Focusing on the production of scientific knowledge over the last three centuries, Terence Keel uncovers the persistent links between pre-modern Christian thought and contemporary scientific perceptions of human difference. He argues that, instead of a rupture between religion and modern biology on the question of human origins,  Read more...
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Genre/Form: History
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Terence Keel
ISBN: 9780804795401 0804795401
OCLC Number: 978712917
Description: x, 188 pages ; 24 cm
Contents: Impure thoughts : Johann Blumenbach and the birth of racial science --
Superseding Christian truth : the quiet revolution of nineteenth-century American science of race --
The ghost of Christian creationism : racial dispositions and progressive era public health research --
Noah's mongrel children : ancient DNA and the persistence of Christian forms in modern biology --
Beyond the religious pursuit of race.
Responsibility: Terence Keel.

Abstract:

Divine Variations offers a new account of the development of scientific ideas about race. Focusing on the production of scientific knowledge over the last three centuries, Terence Keel uncovers the persistent links between pre-modern Christian thought and contemporary scientific perceptions of human difference. He argues that, instead of a rupture between religion and modern biology on the question of human origins, modern scientific theories of race are, in fact, an extension of Christian intellectual history. Keel's study draws on ancient and early modern theological texts and biblical commentaries, works in Christian natural philosophy, seminal studies in ethnology and early social science, debates within twentieth-century public health research, and recent genetic analysis of population differences and ancient human DNA. From these sources, Keel demonstrates that Christian ideas about creation, ancestry, and universalism helped form the basis of modern scientific accounts of human diversity-- despite the ostensible shift in modern biology towards scientific naturalism, objectivity, and value neutrality. By showing the connections between Christian thought and scientific racial thinking, this book calls into question the notion that science and religion are mutually exclusive intellectual domains and proposes that the advance of modern science did not follow a linear process of secularization.

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"Terence Keel's book brings needed nuance to the cultural and scientific history of the study of human diversity. He explores the connections between the theology and science of what eventually Read more...

 
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