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Adam's Ancestors

Race, Religion, and the Politics of Human Origins

David N. Livingstone

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Winner of the Selection for Professional Reading List of the U.S. Marine Corps

Although the idea that all human beings are descended from Adam is a long-standing conviction in the West, another version of this narrative exists: human beings inhabited the Earth before, or alongside, Adam, and their descendants still occupy the planet.

In this engaging and provocative work, David N. Livingstone traces the history of the idea of non-adamic humanity, and the debates surrounding it, from the Middle Ages to the present day. From a multidisciplinary perspective, Livingstone examines how this…

Winner of the Selection for Professional Reading List of the U.S. Marine Corps

Although the idea that all human beings are descended from Adam is a long-standing conviction in the West, another version of this narrative exists: human beings inhabited the Earth before, or alongside, Adam, and their descendants still occupy the planet.

In this engaging and provocative work, David N. Livingstone traces the history of the idea of non-adamic humanity, and the debates surrounding it, from the Middle Ages to the present day. From a multidisciplinary perspective, Livingstone examines how this alternative idea has been used for cultural, religious, and political purposes. He reveals how what began as biblical criticism became a theological apologetic to reconcile religion with science—evolution in particular—and was later used to support arguments for white supremacy and segregation.

From heresy to orthodoxy, from radicalism to conservatism, from humanitarianism to racism, Adam's Ancestors tells an intriguing tale of twists and turns in the cultural politics surrounding the age-old question, "Where did we come from?"

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Adam's Ancestors

David N. Livingstone

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Reviews

Reviews

As David Livingstone shows in this fascinating book, which carefully traces the history of speculations about Adam's ancestors, debates about human origins have always had, and continue to have, moral and political dimensions.

Livingstone traces in detail a fascinating and sometimes troubling story... A book to ponder.

The mark of the true scholar, the really inventive one, is that he or she shows us that there are problems and issues worth discussing that we simply did not know about or even speculate about... I really recommend David Livingstone's book. It informs and leaves you with more questions than when you started. What more could you ask of scholarship?

Provides both college-level and general-interest lending libraries with a fine history of non-Adamic humanity and the debates surrounding it.

Adam's Ancestors is a model of meticulous historical scholarship. It is greatly enhanced by a geographer's sensitivity to the role of place in intellectual history.

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About

Book Details

Publication Date
Status
Available
Trim Size
6
x
9
Pages
320
ISBN
9781421400655
Illustration Description
24 halftones, 2 line drawings
Table of Contents

Preface
1. Beginnings: Questioning the Mosaic Record
2. Heresy: Issac La Peyrère and the Pre-Adamite Scandal
3. Polity: The Cultural Politics of the Adamic Narrative
4. Apologetics: Pre-Adamism and the

Preface
1. Beginnings: Questioning the Mosaic Record
2. Heresy: Issac La Peyrère and the Pre-Adamite Scandal
3. Polity: The Cultural Politics of the Adamic Narrative
4. Apologetics: Pre-Adamism and the Harmony of Science and Religion
5. Anthropology: Adam, Adamites, and the Science of Ethnology
6. Ancestors: Evolution and the Birth of Adam
7. Bloodlines: Pre-Adamism and the Politics of Racial Supremacy
8. Shadows: The Continuing Legacy of Pre-Adamite Discourse
9. Dimensions: Concluding Reflections
Notes
Bibliography
Index

Author Bio
Featured Contributor

David N. Livingstone

David N. Livingstone is a professor of geography and intellectual history at Queen’s University, Belfast. He is author of Adam's Ancestors: Race, Religion, and the Politics of Human Origins, also published by Johns Hopkins.
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