Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Divine VariationsHow Christian Thought Became Racial Science$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Terence Keel

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780804795401

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804795401.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM STANFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.stanford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Stanford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in SSO for personal use (for details see www.stanford.universitypressscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 20 January 2019

Superseding Christian Truth

Superseding Christian Truth

The Quiet Revolution of Nineteenth-Century American Science of Race

(p.55) 2 Superseding Christian Truth
Divine Variations

Terence Keel

Stanford University Press

Chapter 2 analyzes scientific criticism leveled against the theory of common human descent beginning in the 1830s. It focuses on the thought of Josiah C. Nott, a southern physician, early epidemiologist, and major figure of the so-called American School of Ethnology. Nott claimed that humanity’s common origin, or monogenesis, was an unscientific belief and a mere carryover from when natural historians were indebted to Christian ideas about nature and human life. Thus, he attempted to establish an account of the history of human racial groups that moved beyond the constraints of the narrative recorded by Moses in the Bible. Despite these secular aspirations Nott ultimately failed to offer an account of race that stood independent of Christian thought. The case of American polygenism illustrates the degree to which modern racial science is indebted to a religious intellectual history it has attempted to deny and supersede.

Keywords:   polygenism, mongrel epistemology, Christian supersessionism, ethnology, American School of Ethnology

Stanford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.