Old Science, New Problems: A Theological Analysis of John Zahm's Attempt to Bridge Evolution and Roman Catholicism

Doctoral Dissertation


In 1898, the Vatican issued a censure to John Zahm, a North American priest and scientist, for publishing the book Evolution and Dogma. While Zahm’s political connections ensured the censure was not published, he never again wrote on the matter of evolution and theology. This thesis argues that Zahm’s censure was partly predicated upon his theological and philosophical conceptions of science, especially as these stood contrary to the Neo-Scholastic philosophies of science held closely by the senior Vatican officials who issued the censure. In arguing so, the dissertation intends to exemplify the value of investigating the philosophical approach to science in historical theological discussions.


Attribute NameValues
Author John P. Slattery
Contributor J. Matthew Ashley, Research Director
Contributor Celia Deane-Drummond, Committee Member
Contributor Robert Krieg, Committee Member
Contributor Don Howard, Committee Member
Degree Level Doctoral Dissertation
Degree Discipline History and Philosophy of Science
Degree Name PhD
Defense Date
  • 2017-04-06

Submission Date 2017-04-10
Record Visibility Public
Content License
  • All rights reserved

Departments and Units


Please Note: You may encounter a delay before a download begins. Large or infrequently accessed files can take several minutes to retrieve from our archival storage system.