Evolution and docility of mind
in Michael Logue and the Catholic Church in Ireland, 1879–1925
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The nineteenth century was theologically fraught not just for Catholicism but for Christianity in general. As the Church struggled to face the challenges thrown up by modern science, Logue maintained a simple faith. This chapter explains the evolution and docility of the mind. The Catholic Church has not often been associated with scientific endeavour and engagement with modern thought. In Ireland and across the Catholic world, however, a passionate debate on science developed among the clergy. Certain priests embraced the discoveries of modern science and actively sought to reconcile their faith with evolution theory to defend the Church from accusations of medievalism. Ireland lagged behind in terms of the debate on science in the wider Catholic world. Compared with England, conditions in Ireland were not conducive to a wide-ranging debate. By the 1860s half of the British population lived in cities, there was an affluent middle class and a printed media with large circulations fed a general hunger for scientific debate.

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