For thousands of years, religious ideas have shaped the thoughts and actions of human beings. Many of the early geological concepts were initially developed within this context. The long-standing relationship between geology and religious thought, which has been sometimes indifferent, sometimes fruitful and sometimes full of conflict, is discussed from a historical point of view. This relationship continues into the present. Although Christian fundamentalists attack evolution and related palaeontological findings as well as the geological evidence for the age of the Earth, mainstream theologians strive for a fruitful dialogue between science and religion. Much of what is written and discussed today can only be understood within the historical perspective.
This book considers the development of geology from mythological approaches towards the European Enlightenment, biblical or geological Flood and the age of the Earth, geology within religious organizations, biographical case studies of geological clerics and religious geologists, religion and evolution, and historical aspects of creationism and its motives.