When All the Gods Trembled: Darwinism, Scopes, and American Intellectuals

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When All the Gods Trembled narrates the drama of the famous Scopes "Monkey Trial," and describes the varied attempts by early 20th century Americans to accommodate Darwinism into their religious traditions. Conkin's sweeping narrative about this complex relationship is destined to change the way all Americans think about Darwin, the Scopes trial, and American religious and intellectual thought.

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Overview

When All the Gods Trembled narrates the drama of the famous Scopes "Monkey Trial," and describes the varied attempts by early 20th century Americans to accommodate Darwinism into their religious traditions. Conkin's sweeping narrative about this complex relationship is destined to change the way all Americans think about Darwin, the Scopes trial, and American religious and intellectual thought.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

The Review Of Politics
Both satisfying and enjoyable. . . . I am glad that I had an opportunity to review When All the Gods Trembled: Darwinism, Scopes, and American Intellectuals.
— Michael Ruse
The Journal Of Southern History
The real contribution of Conkin's book lies in the chapters that examine the profound issues at stake in the conflict between religious faith and scientific naturalism that the Scopes trial came to symbolize. For its recasting of the putative conflict between faith and science in these unfamiliar terms plus its remarkable incisiveness on the contributing issues, this book is recommended to anyone interested in twentieth-century American intellectual life.
The North Carolina Historical Review
A worthwhile addition to the literature of the Scopes trial and of the evolution controversy in the United States.
The Journal Of American History
The book is a crisp and handy guide to the story of American religious belief in the early part of the twentieth century.
The Bookwatch
A well-balanced, intellectual, and thoughtful discourse on the very serious and perplexing questions that science poses to faith When All the Gods Trembled is highly recommended reading for both students and general readers with an interest in the impact of 19th and 20th sciences on religious belief in the United States.
CHOICE
When All the Gods Trembled does a fine job of identifying the specific elements in the Judeo-Christian tradition that evolutionary theory tended to undermine.
Books and Culture
Conkin provides a sensitive sociocultural description of the residents of Dayton, who were humiliated by their portrayal in the national media. He is critical of the caricatures provided by those who conspired to uncover, maximize, and even manufacture a kind of 'cultural warfare.'
— Karl W. Giberson and Donald A. Yerxa
Journal Of Church and State
Distinguished historian Paul Conkin has given us a provocative book surveying a key period in America's intellectual history. Conkin deserves credit for writing an eminently readable overview with keen insights into important issues such as Darwinism, fundamentalism, and modernism.
— Barry Hankins, Baylor University
Georgia Historical Quarterly
Dense typesetting allows the book's short length to conceal a surprising amount of text. With a sympathetic, dense, and readable style that accepts no nonsense, Conkin provides a wide-ranging analysis in this compact, useful volume.
— Randall L. Hall, Wake Forest University
Journal Of Southern History
The real contribution of Conkin's book lies in the chapters that examine the profound issues at stake in the conflict between religious faith and scientific naturalism that the Scopes trial came to symbolize. For its recasting of the putative conflict between faith and science in these unfamiliar terms plus its remarkable incisiveness on the contributing issues, this book is recommended to anyone interested in twentieth-century American intellectual life.
Journal Of The History Of Biology
Conkin provides a useful introduction to the cultural crises of the 1920s.
Journal of American History
The book is a crisp and handy guide to the story of American religious belief in the early part of the twentieth century.
Journal Of American History
The book is a crisp and handy guide to the story of American religious belief in the early part of the twentieth century.
Choice
When All the Gods Trembled does a fine job of identifying the specific elements in the Judeo-Christian tradition that evolutionary theory tended to undermine.
Books & Culture
Conkin provides a sensitive sociocultural description of the residents of Dayton, who were humiliated by their portrayal in the national media. He is critical of the caricatures provided by those who conspired to uncover, maximize, and even manufacture a kind of 'cultural warfare.'
— Karl W. Giberson and Donald A. Yerxa
The Review of Politics
Both satisfying and enjoyable. . . . I am glad that I had an opportunity to review When All the Gods Trembled: Darwinism, Scopes, and American Intellectuals.
— Michael Ruse
Journal of The History of Biology
Conkin provides a useful introduction to the cultural crises of the 1920s.
Edward J. Larson
These balanced historical essays chronicle the profound impact of modern scientific and philosophical naturalism on American religious thought during the pivotal 1920s, when all the gods trembled before Darwinism and its ilk. Paul Conkin offers keen insights into the historic fundamentalist-modernist controversy and the ongoing debate over science and religion.
Vol. 10 Issue 2 July/August 1999 Science and Spirit
Three stars . . . important.
Books and Culture - Karl W. Giberson and Donald A. Yerxa
Conkin provides a sensitive sociocultural description of the residents of Dayton, who were humiliated by their portrayal in the national media. He is critical of the caricatures provided by those who conspired to uncover, maximize, and even manufacture a kind of 'cultural warfare.'
The Review Of Politics - Michael Ruse
Both satisfying and enjoyable. . . . I am glad that I had an opportunity to review When All the Gods Trembled: Darwinism, Scopes, and American Intellectuals.
Journal of Church & State - Barry Hankins
Distinguished historian Paul Conkin has given us a provocative book surveying a key period in America's intellectual history. Conkin deserves credit for writing an eminently readable overview with keen insights into important issues such as Darwinism, fundamentalism, and modernism.
Georgia Historical Quarterly - Randall L. Hall
Dense typesetting allows the book's short length to conceal a surprising amount of text. With a sympathetic, dense, and readable style that accepts no nonsense, Conkin provides a wide-ranging analysis in this compact, useful volume.
North Carolina Historical Review
A worthwhile addition to the literature of the Scopes trial and of the evolution controversy in the United States.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780847690633
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 10/28/1998
  • Series: American Intellectual Culture Series
  • Pages: 208
  • Product dimensions: 6.26 (w) x 9.22 (h) x 0.69 (d)

Meet the Author

Paul K. Conkin is distinguished professor of history at Vanderbilt University. He is the author of numerous books, including most recently American Originals (A History Book Club Main Selection, ISBN 0-8078-4649-X) and The Uneasy Center (0-8078-4492-6).
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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Preface Chapter 2 Introduction: Christian Cosmologies Chapter 3 What Darwin Wrought Chapter 4 Evangelicals, Fundamentals, and Modernists Chapter 5 The Scopes Trial Chapter 6 A Dialogue among Christian Intellectuals Chapter 7 Beyond Theism Chapter 8 The Gods Still Tremble: An Update Chapter 9 Index
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