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Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Christianity and Eugenics: The Place of Religion in the British Eugenics Education Society and the American Eugenics Society, c.1907–1940

By Graham J. Baker
Social History of Medicine
Volume 27, Issue 2, pp 281-302

Abstract

Historians have regularly acknowledged the significance of religious faith to the eugenics movement in Britain and the USA. However, much of this scholarship suggests a polarised relationship of either conflict or consensus. Where Christian believers participated in the eugenics movement this has been represented as an abandonment of ‘orthodox’ theology, and the impression has been created that eugenics was a secularising force. In contrast, this article explores the impact of religious values on two eugenics organisations: the British Eugenics Education Society, and the American Eugenics Society. It is demonstrated that concerns over religion resulted in both these organisations modifying and tempering the public work that they undertook. This act of concealing and minimising the visibly controversial aspects of eugenics is offered as an addition to the debate over ‘mainline’ versus ‘reform’ eugenics.

The entire article is here.
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