Redeeming Culture: American Religion in an Age of Science
Publisher: Chicago University Press | ISBN: 0226293211 | edition 1998 | CHM | 418 pages | 2,96 mb
James Gilbert examines the confrontation between science and religion in the 20th century, as these disparate, sometimes hostile modes of thought clashed within the arena of American culture. Beginning in 1925 with the Scopes trial, Gilbert traces nearly 40 years of conflicting American attitudes toward science and religion. From Harvard intellectuals to Hollywood, from UFOs to the USAF, from sci-fi thrillers to the nightly news - American culture became a proving ground where the boundaries between science and religion were polemicized, propagandized, and contested. Gilbert argues that Catholics, Jews and Protestants alike were able to use the language of democracy and egalitarianism to check the growing authority of science. They did this by appealing to American tolerance of contending views and by presenting a populist counter-weight to what they portrayed as elitest claims to specialized knowledge. Eventually, asserts Gilbert, a kind of cultural paradox emerged in which two intrinsically dissimilar and mutually exclusive systems of explanation were accepted, respected and even encouraged.