ISKCON and intelligent design
The case of Leif A. Jensen and Rethinking Darwin
Keywords:ISKCON, Intelligent Design, Religion and Science, Darwin, Fundamentalism
Bhaktivedanta Swami (1896–1977), the founder of ISKCON, had a complex relationship with science and modernity, and many of his followers have consequently allied themselves with various kinds of critiques of the modern project. A favourite enemy has been Darwin’s theory of evolution. This article undertakes a close reading of the book Rethinking Darwinism, written by a Danish member of the society, Leif A. Jensen, and published by the movement’s official publishing house, Bhaktivedanta Book Trust in 2010. Contextualising the book within the history of ISKCON’s relationship with science, the article asks what the motivations for challenging Darwin here are, how it is done, and what the consequences of it are for a movement often taken to be a fundamentalist one.
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