Samuel Christian Schmucker’s Christian Vocation

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Eighty years ago Samuel Christian Schmucker was one of the most widely known science writers and lecturers in the United States. Born into the most important Lutheran family in American history, he wrote five books about evolution, eugenics, religion, and the environment for major publishing houses, including two titles that were used nationally as texts by the Chautauqua Literary and Scientific Circle. One of the most popular speakers at the original Chautauqua in New York, he also appeared at summer schools and teachers’ workshops in many states and spoke frequently at prestigious venues in Brooklyn, Manhattan, Philadelphia, and other major cities. In all of these activities, including his teaching at West Chester, the message he brought to a very large audience of ordinary people was one of the fundamental harmony of science and religion–a message whose spirit, though not necessarily its specific content, would have pleased the distinguished Lutheran pastors whose name he bore. In short, Schmucker viewed teaching, speaking, and writing about science as a religious vocation.


Originally published as:

Davis, Edward. (2008). Samuel Christian Schmucker’s Christian Vocation. Seminary Ridge Review. 10. 2008.