Investigates how the Christian fundamentalist movement brings Creationism into the mainstream through a Kentucky museum
In Creating the Creation Museum, Kathleen C. Oberlin shows us how the largest Creationist organization, Answers in Genesis (AiG), built a museum-which has had over three million visitors-to make its movement mainstream. She takes us behind the scenes, vividly bringing the museum to life by detailing its infamous exhibits on human fossils, dinosaur remains, and more.
Drawing on over three years of research at the Creation Museum, where she was granted rare access to AiG's leadership, Oberlin examines how the museum convincingly reframes scientific facts, such as modeling itself on traditional natural history museums. Through a unique historical dataset of over 1,000 internal documents from creationist organizations and an analysis of media coverage, Creating the Creation Museum shows how the museum works as a site of social movement activity and a place to contest the secular mainstream. Oberlin ultimately argues that the Creation Museum has real-world consequences in today's polarized era.
Kathleen C. Oberlin
Oberlin shows through cutting-edge, in-depth ethnography that the creation museum is part of a deliberate social movement to support creationist ideas. In looking at this unique case, she provides new insights for those of us who want to understand how counter movements influence science acceptance, how alternative political movements flourish, and for those who want to bring sociology to bear on the study of religion and science. Creating the Creation Museum is an incredibly important and deeply readable work. -- Elaine Howard Ecklund, co-author of Secularity and Science: What Scientists Around the World Really Think About Religion Most studies of American creationism focus upon words - the words in legal cases and the writings of advocates and opponents. Oberlin takes a fresh new look at creationism by focusing on the built environment of a creationist museum. She argues that creationism is made plausible through emulating the authority of the museum form and the sensory experience in general. This book is an important addition to studies of museums as an argumentative form, and particularly to studies of American creationism. -- John Evans, author of What is Human? What the Answers Mean for Human Rights
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