The 1925 trial of John Thomas Scopes for teaching evolution remains a vivid landmark in America's distinctive sociopolitical history. Although the verdict established no important legal doctrines and was muted eighteen months later by an appeals court decision, the case continues to symbolize the dominant American consensus about the legitimate roles of religion and science in national life. The trial stands as a potent cultural image of the boundaries between science and religion because, as a special type of legal event, it provided the locus for the negotiation between these powerful, competing social forces. To understand the way in which this popular trial functioned to reapportion the public arenas in which religion and science could legitimate public argument, we explore the Scopes trial through a theory of social process and with careful attention to the particularities of the discourse of both the trial and the journalistic coverage of the case.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Title of host publication||Popular Trials|
|Subtitle of host publication||Rhetoric, Mass Media, and the Law|
|Publisher||The University of Alabama Press|
|Number of pages||31|
|ISBN (Print)||0817306986, 9780817306984|
|State||Published - Dec 1 2009|