“Darwin, Discovery, Death and Damnation: Sources of Victorian Religious Doubt”
Dr. Julie Melnyk
Thursday, November 6
Ellis Library Colonnade
Victorian Britain experienced a profound unsettlement of religious faith. In this lecture based on the final chapter of her new book, Victorian Religion: Faith and Life in Britain, Julie Melnyk examines the many sources of religious doubt in the period. While the problem of innocent suffering had long haunted thoughtful Christians, new challenges to Christian belief arose in the nineteenth century, including scientific advances in geology, the development of Darwin’s theory of evolution, new ways of reading the Bible, the increasing knowledge about world religions and discomfort with some central religious doctrines, including eternal damnation. Dr. Melnyk will also discuss the differing – and sometimes surprising – effects that religious unsettlement had in the lives of women and men of the period, as well as the general effect on British religion and society.