Originally published between 1909 and 1917 under the name "Harvard Classics," this stupendous 51-volume set-a collection of the greatest writings from literature, philosophy, history, and mythology-was assembled by American academic CHARLES WILLIAM ELIOT (1834-1926), Harvard University's longest-serving president. Also known as "Dr. Eliot's Five Foot Shelf," it represented Eliot's belief that a basic liberal education could be gleaned by reading from an anthology of works that could fit on five feet of bookshelf. Volume XI features the revolutionary work of scientific philosophy from English scientist, naturalist, and geologist CHARLES DARWIN (1809-1882). First published in 1859, On the Origin of Species is the seminal work of modern biology, positing the mechanism by which evolution operates... as easily observed even in Darwin's time in the breeding of farm animals, and as confirmed today through numerous lines of scientific inquiry. One of the most important books ever written, it transformed our understanding of the planet and our place on it.
This book is the story of two worldviews--humanism and Christianity--that are contending for supremacy in America's central cultural vision. The institutions of American life--religion, government, politics, economics, education, physical and human sciences, family, and popular culture (arts and the media)--have been systematically and substantially captured by those with the humanistic worldview.
In focusing on the story of Darwin's religious doubts, scholars too often overlook Darwin's positive contribution to the study of religion. J. David Pleins traces Darwin's journey in five steps. He begins with Darwin's global voyage, where his encounter with religious and cultural diversity transformed his understanding of religion. Surprisingly, Darwin wrestles with serious theological questions even as he uncovers the evolutionary layers of religion from savage roots. Next, we follow Darwin as his doubts about traditional biblical religion take root, affecting his career choice and marriage to Emma Wedgwood. Pleins then examines Darwin's secret notebooks as he searches for a materialist theory of religion. Again, other surprises loom as Darwin's reading of Comte's three stages of religion's development actually predate his reading of Malthus. Pleins explores how Darwin applied his discovery to the realm of ethics by formulating an evolutionary view of the "Golden Rule" in his Descent of Man. Finally, he considers Darwin's later reflections on the religion question, as he wrestled with whether his views led to atheism, agnosticism, or a new kind of theism. The Evolving God concludes by looking at some of the current religious debates surrounding Darwin and suggests the need for a deeper appreciation for Darwin as a religious thinker. Though he grew skeptical of traditional Christian dogma, Darwin made key discoveries concerning the role and function of religion as a natural evolutionary phenomenon.
Drawing on a wide range of examples from literature, comics, film, television and digital media, Nerd Ecology is the first substantial ecocritical study of nerd culture's engagement with environmental issues. Exploring such works as Star Trek, Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, The Matrix, Joss Whedon's Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Firefly, the fiction of Thomas Pynchon, The Hunger Games, and superhero comics such as Green Lantern and X-Men, Anthony Lioi maps out the development of nerd culture and its intersections with the most fundamental ecocritical themes. In this way Lioi finds in the narratives of unpopular culture - narratives in which marginalised individuals and communities unite to save the planet - the building blocks of a new environmental politics in tune with the concerns of contemporary ecocritical theory and practice.
A new group of Americans is challenging the reign of the Religious Right Today, nearly one in five Americans are nonbelievers - a rapidly growing group at a time when traditional Christian churches are dwindling in numbers - and they are flexing their muscles like never before. Yet we still see almost none of them openly serving in elected office, while Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, and many others continue to loudly proclaim the myth of America as a Christian nation. In Nonbeliever Nation, leading secular advocate David Niose explores what this new force in politics means for the unchallenged dominance of the Religious Right. Hitting on all the hot-button issues that divide the country – from gay marriage to education policy to contentious church-state battles – he shows how this movement is gaining traction, and fighting for its rights. Now, Secular Americans—a group comprised not just of atheists and agnostics, but lapsed Catholics, secular Jews, and millions of others who have walked away from religion—are mobilizing and forming groups all over the country (even atheist clubs in Bible-belt high schools) to challenge the exaltation of religion in American politics and public life. This is a timely and important look at how growing numbers of nonbelievers, disenchanted at how far America has wandered from its secular roots, are emerging to fight for equality and rational public policy.
This Companion commemorates the 150th anniversary of the publication of the Origin of Species and examines its main arguments. Drawing on the expertise of leading authorities in the field, it also provides the contexts - religious, social, political, literary, and philosophical - in which the Origin was written.
"Although modified and adapted, evolution's basic principles remain firmly in place. However, the implications for belief are still being sorted. In this book, the authors review Darwin's milieu and give an overview of the conflicts among today's interpreters of Darwin."--BOOK JACKET.
In the age of ubiquitous access to information, library special collections and archives have received renewed attention through digitization projects designed to share collections with the world at large. Yet these materials also offer opportunities for student learning through direct engagement with rare or unique items. While special collections and archives have largely been used by advanced researchers and scholars, an increasing number of undergraduate courses are taking advantage of these materials as guides in the instructional process.