By David N. Livingstone
Although the concept all people are descended from Adam is a long-standing conviction within the West, one other model of this narrative exists: humans inhabited the Earth ahead of, or along, Adam, and their descendants nonetheless occupy the planet.
In this attractive and provocative paintings, David N. Livingstone strains the historical past of the belief of non-adamic humanity, and the debates surrounding it, from the center a long time to the current day. From a multidisciplinary point of view, Livingstone examines how this substitute proposal has been used for cultural, spiritual, and political reasons. He unearths how what all started as biblical feedback grew to become a theological apologetic to reconcile faith with science—evolution in particular—and used to be later used to help arguments for white supremacy and segregation.
From heresy to orthodoxy, from radicalism to conservatism, from humanitarianism to racism, Adam's Ancestors tells an interesting story of twists and turns within the cultural politics surrounding the age-old query, "Where did we come from?"
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Additional resources for Adam's Ancestors: Race, Religion, and the Politics of Human Origins
Ethnographically, the Icelanders fared rather better than the inhabitants of Greenland in La Peyrère’s geographical imaginary. ”20 These records, alongside the writings of figures such as Dithmarus Blefkenius, who had published in 1607 a work entitled Islandia,21 and Jonasen Arngrim (sometimes referred to, as with La Peyrère, as Angrim Jonas), who had studied with Tycho Brahe and wrote several works of Icelandic history in Latin during the early seventeenth century, drawing largely on Blefkenius, provided La Peyrère with information for his account.
Adopting his pre-adamite theory, he judged, would aid the conversion to Christianity of various peoples insofar as “Genesis and the Gospel, and the astronomy of the Ancients is reconcil’d and the History and Philosophy of the most ancient nations; So that if the Chaldeans themselves should come, those most ancient Astronomers, who had calculated the course of the stars, as they say many hundred thousand years ago; or the most ancient Egyptian Chronologers, with those most ancient Dynasties of their Kings; .
7). ”56 At stake in the Valladolid dispute was the moral and judicial status of New World peoples, whether they were truly human, half-human and halfanimal, or creatures disguised as humans; whether they were descended from Adam or were the offspring of the devil. Although the tribunal failed to come to any formal verdict, the hearing nonetheless highlighted several things: the lingering influence of Aristotle, whose benediction was sought by interlocutors on both sides of the argument; the political, legal, and moral significance of questions about human origins; and the stresses and strains to which the conventional adamic narrative was progressively subjected.
Adam's Ancestors: Race, Religion, and the Politics of Human Origins by David N. Livingstone