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Divine VariationsHow Christian Thought Became Racial Science$
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Terence Keel

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780804795401

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804795401.001.0001

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Beyond the Religious Pursuit of Race

Beyond the Religious Pursuit of Race

(p.137) 5 Beyond the Religious Pursuit of Race
Divine Variations

Terence Keel

Stanford University Press

Chapter 5 provides a summary of the major claims of the book. It also explains how the conflict thesis for representing the relationship between science and religion fails to capture how Christian intellectual history has been key to the formation of the race concept in modern science. Citing recent data from a 2015 Pew Research Survey, this chapter argues that the conflict thesis remains a fixture in the minds of Americans, which has consequences for shifting public perceptions about the assumed secularity of the scientific study of race. It closes with a call for recognizing that the scientific study of race is involved in providing a solution to the existential dilemma of defining what it means to be human. This solution is neither value-free nor detached from the cultural and religious inheritance that has fastened itself to the work of Euro-American scientists who study race.

Keywords:   Draper-White thesis, Ashley Montagu, biodeterminism

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