- Drummond, Henry
- (1851-1897)Christian writer and philosopher of scienceHenry Drummond, a Christian scientist who attempted to respond positively to the scientific findings of the mid-19th century in a number of best-selling books, was born at Stirling, Scotland, on August 17, 1851. He attended the university of Edinburgh and the New College, Edinburgh, where he studied theology in preparation for the ministry of the Free Church of Scotland, a more conservative alternative to the Church of Scotland.in 1877, Drummond, though never having received a formal degree, became a lecturer in natural science at the Free Church College in Glasgow. In 1884, he became a full professor and was ordained as a minister in the Free Church. A set of lectures given at a local Free Church, in which he tackled the controversial subject of evolution, were later compiled as Drummond's first major book, Natural Law in the Spiritual World (1883). He defended science, arguing that the scientific study of natural law led to the discovery of spiritual laws and conformed with Calvinist views in particular. He argued that evolution was no danger to Christianity.Lectures in London were later compiled into what may be his most enduring book, The Greatest Thing in the World (1880), his commentary on I Corinthians 13. He asserted his belief that "To love abundantly is to live abundantly, and to love forever is to live forever." He suggested that reproduction, the struggle of life not just for the self but for others, was the missing consideration in evolutionary theory. Altruism sits beside the survival of the fittest as a factor in the upward movement of humanity. The lectures satisfied neither his scientific nor his religious colleagues.Shortly after the publication of his last book, The Ascent of Man, Drummond became ill, and he died on March 11, 1897. (The Scottish Henry Drummond is not to be confused with the British Henry Drummond (1786-1860), who was active in the Catholic Apostolic Church.)Further reading:■ Henry Drummond, The Greatest Thing in the World (London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1880), frequently reprinted; , The Lowell Lectures on the Ascent of Man (London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1894■ ----, Natural Law in the Spiritual World (London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1883)■ George A. Smith, The Life of Henry Drummond (London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1898).
Encyclopedia of Protestantism. Gordon Melton. 2005.