Warfare of Science/Theology

Author: Andrew Dickson White

Chapter XVII. From Babel to Comparative Philology.

I. THE SACRED THEORY IN ITS FIRST FORM. Difference of the history of Comparative Philology from that of other sciences as regards the attitude of theologians Curiosity of early man regarding the origin, the primitive form, and the diversity of language The Hebrew answer to these questions The legend of the Tower of Babel The real reason for the building of towers by the Chaldeans and the causes of their ruin Other legends of a confusion of tongues Influence upon Christendom of the Hebrew legends Lucretius’s theory of the origin of language The teachings of the Church fathers on this subject The controversy as to the divine origin of the Hebrew vowel points Attitude of the reformers toward this question Of Catholic scholars.—Marini Capellus and his adversaries The treatise of Danzius

II. THE SACRED THEORY OF LANGUAGE IN ITS SECOND FORM. Theological theory that Hebrew was the primitive tongue, divinely revealed This theory supported by all Christian scholars until the beginning of the eighteenth century Dissent of Prideaux and Cotton Mather Apparent strength of the sacred theory of language

III. BREAKING DOWN OF THE THEOLOGICAL VIEW. Reason for the Church’s ready acceptance of the conclusions of comparative philology Beginnings of a scientific theory of language Hottinger Leibnitz The collections of Catharine the Great, of Hervas, and of Adelung Chaotic period in philology between Leibnitz and the beginning of the study of Sanskrit Illustration from the successive editions of the Encyclopaedia Britannica

IV. TRIUMPH OF THE NEW SCIENCE. Effect of the discovery of Sanskrit on the old theory Attempts to discredit the new learning General acceptance of the new theory Destruction of the belief that all created things were first named by Adam Of the belief in the divine origin of letters Attempts in England to support the old theory of language rogress of philological science in France In Germany In Great Britain Recent absurd attempts to prove Hebrew the primitive tongue

V. SUMMARY. Gradual disappearance of the old theories regarding the origin of speech and writing Full acceptance of the new theories by all Christian scholars The result to religion, and to the Bible


I. THE GROWTH OF EXPLANATORY TRANSFORMATION MYTHS. Growth of myths to account for remarkable appearances in Nature—mountains, rocks, curiously marked stones, fossils, products of volcanic action Myths of the transformation of living beings into natural objects Development of the science of Comparative Mythology

II. MEDIAEVAL GROWTH OF THE DEAD SEA LEGENDS. Description of the Dead Sea Impression made by its peculiar features on the early dwellers in Palestine Reasons for selecting the Dead Sea myths for study Naturalness of the growth of legend regarding the salt region of Usdum Universal belief in these legends Concurrent testimony of early and mediaeval writers, Jewish and Christian, respecting the existence of Lot’s wife as a "pillar of salt," and of the other wonders of the Dead Sea Discrepancies in the various accounts and theological explanations of them Theological arguments respecting the statue of Lot’s wife Growth of the legend in the sixteenth century

III. POST-REFORMATION CULMINATION OF THE DEAD SEA LEGENDS.—BEGINNINGS OF A HEALTHFUL SCEPTICISM. Popularization of the older legends at the Reformation Growth of new myths among scholars Signs of scepticism among travellers near the end of the sixteenth century Effort of Quaresmio to check this tendency Of Eugene Roger Of Wedelius Influence of these teachings Renewed scepticism—the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries Efforts of Briemle and Masius in support of the old myths Their influence The travels of Mariti and of Volney Influence of scientific thought on the Dead Sea legends during the eighteenth century Reactionary efforts of Chateaubriand Investigations of the naturalist Seetzen Of Dr. Robinson The expedition of Lieutenant Lynch The investigations of De Saulcy Of the Duc de Luynes.—Lartet’s report Summary of the investigations of the nineteenth century.—Ritter’s verdict

IV. THEOLOGICAL EFFORTS AT COMPROMISE.— TRIUMPH OF THE SCIENTIFIC VIEW. Attempts to reconcile scientific facts with the Dead Sea legends Van de Velde’s investigations of the Dead Sea region Canon Tristram’s Mgr. Mislin’s protests against the growing rationalism The work of Schaff and Osborn Acceptance of the scientific view by leaders in the Church Dr. Geikie’s ascription of the myths to the Arabs Mgr. Haussmann de Wandelburg and.his rejection of the scientific view Service of theologians to religion in accepting the conclusions of silence in this field


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Chicago: Andrew Dickson White, "Chapter XVII. From Babel to Comparative Philology.," Warfare of Science/Theology, ed. Paine, Albert Bigelow, 1861-1937 and trans. Townsend, R.S. in Warfare of Science/Theology (New York: A. L. Burt Company, 1916), Original Sources, accessed July 21, 2024, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=DBCEALQJ5858KPW.

MLA: White, Andrew Dickson. "Chapter XVII. From Babel to Comparative Philology." Warfare of Science/Theology, edited by Paine, Albert Bigelow, 1861-1937, and translated by Townsend, R.S., in Warfare of Science/Theology, Vol. 22, New York, A. L. Burt Company, 1916, Original Sources. 21 Jul. 2024. http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=DBCEALQJ5858KPW.

Harvard: White, AD, 'Chapter XVII. From Babel to Comparative Philology.' in Warfare of Science/Theology, ed. and trans. . cited in 1916, Warfare of Science/Theology, A. L. Burt Company, New York. Original Sources, retrieved 21 July 2024, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=DBCEALQJ5858KPW.