The Victoria Institute, biblical criticism, and the fundamentals: with James C. Ungureanu, “Introduction to the Symposium on Science, Religion, and the Rise of Biblical Criticism”; Paul C. H. Lim, “Atheism, Atoms, and the Activity of God: Science and Religion in Early Boyle Lectures, 1692–1720”; Diego Lucci, “The Biblical Roots of Locke's Theory of Personal Identity”; Jon W. Thompson, “The Naturalization of Scriptural Reason in Seventeenth Century Epistemology”; James C. Ungureanu, “‘From Divine Oracles to the Higher Criticism’: Andrew D. White and the Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom”; Nathan Bossoh, “Scientific Uniformity or ‘Natural’ Divine Action: Shifting the Boundaries of Law in the Nineteenth Century”; Stuart Mathieson, “The Victoria Institute, Biblical Criticism, and The Fundamentals”; and Samuel Loncar, “Science and Religion: An Origins Story.”

Stuart Mathieson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

The Victoria Institute was established in London in 1865. Although billed as an anti-evolutionary organization, and stridently anti-Darwinian in its rhetoric, it spent relatively little time debating the theory of natural selection. Instead, it served as a haven for a specific set of intellectual commitments. Most important among these was the Baconian scientific methodology, which prized empiricism and induction, and was suspicious of speculation. Darwin's use of hypotheses meant that the Victoria Institute members were unconvinced that his work was truly scientific, but even more concerning for them was the specter of biblical criticism. This approach to biblical studies incorporated techniques from literary criticism, treating it as any other document. Since it also relied on hypotheses, the Victoria Institute members were similarly skeptical that biblical criticism was scientific, and spent much of their time attempting to refute it. In this way, they functioned as an incubator for the concerns that would animate the fundamentalist–modernist controversies of the early twentieth century.

Original languageEnglish
JournalZygon
Early online date01 Feb 2021
DOIs
Publication statusEarly online date - 01 Feb 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Authors. Zygon® published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of Joint Publication Board of Zygon

Copyright:
Copyright 2021 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

Keywords

  • biblical criticism
  • evolution
  • fundamentalism
  • Ireland
  • philosophy of science
  • Victoria Institute

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Education
  • Religious studies

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