By Geoffrey Cantor
How do technology and faith engage? This research examines the ways that minorities in Britain - the Quaker and Anglo-Jewish groups - engaged with technological know-how. Drawing on a wealth of documentary fabric, a lot of which has no longer been analysed by way of past historians, Geoffrey Cantor charts the participation of Quakers and Jews in lots of various features of technology: clinical study, technology schooling, science-related careers, and clinical associations. The responses of either groups to the problem of modernity posed through leading edge medical theories, similar to the Newtonian worldview and Darwin's conception of evolution, are of primary curiosity.
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Extra resources for Quakers, Jews, and Science: Religious Responses to Modernity and the Sciences in Britain, 1650-1900
Introduction 18 was considerable diversity. Most noticeably—and again in contrast to the Quaker community, which was dominantly middle class by the late eighteenth century—it spanned the very wealthy to the exceedingly poor. It also spanned two traditions, Sephardi and Ashkenazi, that possessed very distinct histories and subscribed to significantly different customs and practices. Other divisions existed. For example, a breakaway Reform synagogue was founded in the early 1840s. Again, late in the nineteenth century the waves of immigrants fleeing the Russian pogroms imported forms of Jewish practice that most Anglicized Jews considered primitive and unacceptable.
Bauman, Let Our Words be Few, 95–119. 26 Two Communities religious tests that were applied to appointments to academic positions at Oxford and Cambridge, was revoked by parliament only in 1871. While the freedoms enshrined in the Toleration Act and in subsequent pieces of legislation were important in themselves, they also influenced the social structures and psychological outlook of the Society of Friends, and its relation to the Anglican establishment. 20 Redemption could be achieved only by close attention to the Bible and by the performance of pious deeds.
During the closing years of the century, a small but increasingly vocal section of Anglo-Jewry was pressing for change and emphasizing the need for Jews to engage with important recent developments in the religious and secular world. These later progressive Jews were not only reacting against the lethargy within Anglo-Jewry; they also wanted to distance themselves from the growing influx of Orthodox Jews. Embarrassed by these poor immigrants, with their traditional religious practices and their decidedly un-English habits, these reformers sought to align Judaism with modernism.
Quakers, Jews, and Science: Religious Responses to Modernity and the Sciences in Britain, 1650-1900 by Geoffrey Cantor