Tue, Jun 27|
CLE Lecture Hall
The Scopes Trial in History and Folklore (Sponsored By Al and Martha Pearson)
Time & Location
Jun 27, 2023, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
CLE Lecture Hall, 348 S 5th St, Highlands, NC 28741, USA
About the Event
Historian and legal scholar Edward J. Larson won the Pulitzer Prize in 1998 for Summer for the Gods: The Scopes Trial and America’s Continuing Debate Over Science and Religion. Larson rivetingly describes the surprising and sometimes comic first skirmish in what has become an American culture war. Set in the unlikely hamlet of Dayton, Tennessee in the summer of 1925, the Scopes trial focused on evolution, but it ignited a broader, increasingly complex debate about the tension between science and religion that continues a century later – fundamentalism versus modernity, majority rule versus individual rights, school curriculum and textbook content, reproductive rights, LBGTQ+ protections, the role of government in public health, and climate science. Larson not only captures the drama of the trial and the great encounter between Clarence Darrow and the declining William Jennings Bryan; he also discusses misconceptions about the trial that have persisted. The tenor of this debate has changed little over the years.