Discovery and Revelation: Religion, Science, and Making Sense of Things

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ISBN 13: 158834701X

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Product Description

An illustrated history of how scientific study and religious thought have influenced each other throughout the history of the United States.

Discovery and Revelation explores the evolving relationship between religion, science, and technology in America through the centuries as humans strive to understand the world and their place in it. With at least 40 significant and rarely seen artifacts from the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, the book highlights the way religious and scientific ideas have influenced each other and informed cultural change.
Religious tradition has often adapted in response to scientific discoveries, while scientists have been motivated to undertake research both because of faith and in opposition to it. Delving deep into this intersection, Discovery and Revelation examines how these two approaches to understanding the world have changed the landscape of American society. It explores scientific advancements through artifacts like:

  • Benjamin Franklin's lightning rod: sparked debate about the relationship between weather and God.
  • Charles Darwin's "Tree of Life" sketch: represented his theory of evolution, which some objected to as being atheistic while others thought it reflected the intent of a Creator.
  • John Thomas Scopes portrait: photograph taken ahead of his time on trial for teaching evolution against Tennessee law forbidding denial of the Biblical account of man's origin.
  • Apollo 8's live television script: the crew caused controversy for reading from the Bible for their Christmas Eve broadcast.

Discovery and Revelation is a testament to the fascinating and multifaceted nature of faith and knowledge and how they've shaped our nation.

Author Information

Peter Manseau, Andrew Ali Aghapour
PETER MANSEAU is curator of religious history at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. The author of numerous books, including Songs for the Butcher's Daughter and Objects of Devotion: Religion in Early America, he writes frequently on religion and history for publications including the New York Times, Atlantic, and Wall Street Journal. ANDREW ALI AGHAPOUR is Consulting Scholar of Religion and Science at the National Museum of American History. A journalist and essayist, he writes frequently about contemporary intersections of science and religion.

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