Darwin
Banton, Michael.  “Kingsley’s Racial Philosophy,” Theology Vol. LXXVIII, No. 655 (Jan., 1975): 22-30.
In this short examination of Kingsley's views on race Banton warns of the danger of presentism, that is interpreting these views in terms of the perspective and context of a later period.  Some of Kingsley's writings, declares Banton, have been considered with a presentism interpretation and he himself "has at times been categorized as a racist by authors who reflect very little before applying this highly elastic contemporary category to people living in a period when the understanding of the biological nature of man was very different" (22).

Racial Prejudices; Presentism; Darwin; Evolution.
 

Beer, Gillian.  Darwin's Plots: Evolutionary Narrative in Darwin, George Eliot and Nineteenth-Century Fiction (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1983).
Beer considers Kingsley's debt to Darwin and the evolutionary theories in his works, particularly The Water-Babies.  The latter novel, Beer points out, echoes how Darwin's natural order reflects such features of Victorian society as division of labor, competition, and family structures.  Kingsley also follows to a certain degree Darwin's challenge to Malthusian theories.  Like Darwin, Kingsley disputes Malthus by regarding profusion and hyper-productivity as good and in his account of the evolutionary process of the once excluded Tom he challenges Malthusian social theory.  "In its unguarded and unanalytic response to Darwin's ideas and rhetoric, Kingsley's work represents the first phase of assimilation.  He grasped much of what was fresh in Darwin's ideas while at the same time retaining a creationist view of experience" (138).

Darwin; Evolution; Malthus; The Water-Babies.
 

Hawley, John C., S. J.  "Charles Kingsley and the Book of Nature," Anglican and Episcopal History Vol. 61, No. 4 (December 1991): 461-479.
Hawley examines Kingsley as natural theologian and his views on the “meaning” of nature.  He discusses Kingsley’s attempt to bridge the ever widening gap between the claims of science and religion and to establish a vocabulary that would be intelligible to and supportive of both fields.  In this respect he provides a comparison of Kingsley’s views on the theological beliefs of and the search for meaning in Arnold, Huxley, and Darwin.  Kingsley’s aim, according to Hawley, “was to circumvent fears and cynicism, and to move his readers into a world of scientific endeavor and Christian cooperation.  In choosing the commitment of faith over strict empiricism he became for many, in an age of increasing dichotomy between the realms of science and religion, a model of a Christian who hoped that the truths of both would ultimately coalesce” (479).

Nature; Science; Religion; Natural Theology; Arnold, Matthew; Huxley; Darwin.
 

Henkin, Leo J.  Darwinism in the English Novel 1860-1910: The Impact of Evolution on Victorian Fiction (New York: Russell & Russell, 1963).
For Kingsley the Bible and science were compatible.  He welcomed Darwin’s theories which rendered Nature and all about him more full of divine significance than ever before.  While Kingsley reverenced Nature, “he reverenced more the will that is above Nature.  His reverence for Nature was not antagonistic, but paid homage to his faith in the supernatural” (146).

Science; Religion; Darwin; Nature.
 

Johnston, Arthur.  "The Water-Babies: Kingsley's Debt to Darwin,” English Vol. 12 (Autumn 1959): 215-19.
Johnston reviews the scientific content in a number of Kingsley’s works, in particular the novels Yeast, Alton Locke, and Two Years Ago.  He considers that the influence of Darwinian thought and the theory of evolution is particularly evident throughout The Water-Babies.  In fact, “The metamorphosis of Tom into a water-baby is not more wonderful than the metamorphosis of the Origin of Species into The Water-Babies” (219).

Science; Darwin; The Water-Babies.
 

Meadows, A. J.  “Kingsley’s Attitude to Science,” Theology Vol. LXXVIII, No. 655 (January 1975): 15-22.
Meadows declares that Kingsley was unlike many of his religious contemporaries in his belief that science and even the theories of Darwin actually strengthened the truths of Christianity. He also states that Kingsley viewed science as a vehicle for improving society, for example the promotion of public health. In addition, Meadows writes that Kingsley though an enthusiastic practitioner of science was still an amateur in a field that was quickly becoming professional.

Science; Religion; Darwin; Health.
 

Rauch, Alan. "The Tailor Transformed: Charles Kingsley's Alton Locke and the Notion of Change," Studies in the Novel Vol. 25, No. 2 (Summer 1993): 196-213.
Rauch considers Kingsley's belief that science and religion are compatible and that the study of the former could only serve to support the teachings of faith.  Both are truth seeking activities.  Kingsley also found suggestive the parallels between transformations in the natural worlds and transformations in the spiritual spheres. It is a parallel, declares Rauch, that Kingsley adapted for the character of Alton in Alton Locke.  Kingsley is drawing on the progressive transformation of forms in the natural world when he depicts the gradual change of Alton from an atheist and political agitator to a Christian with a much moderated political reform agenda.

Science; Religion; Change, Notion of; Darwin; Alton Locke; Social and Political Views.
 
 

Return to Top