Scientific investigation in early nineteenth century England was based on natural theology. The evolutionary theory of Charles Darwin was also based on natural thelogy. Most contemporary scholars and clergy accepted the evolution of organisms as providential evolution, that is, evolution guided by God. Darwinian theory did not reject the idea of providential evolution. Darwinian theory, however, also has a revolutionary factor, which implies a mechanical interpretation of the adaptation of organisms. Modern biologists acknowledge only this revolutionary factor in Darwinism. But in order to understand properly the historical significance of Darwinism, we must recognize the religious factor in Darwinism. In this article we analyse the theological background of Darwinism and survey the contemporary reception of Darwinism.