In the twenty-first century, Charles Darwin and his theory of evolution remain at the center of religious controversy. More than any scientific discovery, his work seems to challenge world religions and cause ordinary religious people to confront their own core values.
With all we know about his ideas on geology and biology, we know much less about Darwin's own journey of faith. In Darwin's Religious Odyssey, William Phipps uses newly available material to explore the evolution of Darwin's religious outlook. It is a fascinating faith odyssey because it mirrors the struggles of other scientists trying to harmonize their findings with their own religious worldviews.
Darwin's detractors tend to depict him as an anti-religious man determined to undermine biblical faith; even some of Darwin's admirers agree. Yet Darwin's autobiography and his journals tell a much different story. It is clear that Darwin did not sail directly from Christian orthodoxy to atheistic materialism. His journals, for example, disclose an attempt to reconcile his evolutionary views with Anglican doctrines.
Phipps paints the important aspect of Darwin's religious life against the background of his times. This book examines not only Darwin's changing theology but compares his religious and moral viewpoints with those of his family and associates. Phipps concludes that Darwin was both a product of his religious culture and the shaper of future scientific culture.