When chemistry professor Edwin Lewis praised Darwin’s methods in his 1882 commencement speech at Beirut’s Syrian Protestant College, he set off a fierce and extended battle over freedom of expression between liberals and conservatives that over the next few years caused nearly half the senior faculty to resign, many students to be suspended, and enrollment to plunge. Although the conservatives initially won adoption of a Christian “Declaration of Principles” mandatory for all faculty, it was repealed by 1902.
Shafik Jeha is the author of The Lebanese Constitution: Its History, Amendments and Present Text, The Battle of Lebanon's Fate During the French Mandate, 1918-1945, and The Secret Arab Movement, 1935-1945.
Distributed for American University of Beirut
7 x 9.5, 224 pages