2 de setembro de 2009

Christianity and Evolution


Publica-se a seguir o resumo da conferência plenária que será proferida na próxima semana pelo teólogo americano John Haught no Congresso sobre o Impacto de Drawin, na Faculdade de Filosofia de Braga.


Darwinian challenges to Christianity

Darwin challenges religious trust in a providential God who purposefully creates, influences and eternally cares for the world. Our religious ancestors did not have our knowledge of biological evolution, though they were certainly aware of the suffering of humans and other living beings. Darwinian science, however, vastly extends the story of life's suffering (and creativity as well) beyond that of traditional theological awareness. In what sense, then, after Darwin, might we still trust in divine providence, if at all? Is it perhaps possible that evolutionary portraits of life may open up fresh ways of thinking about God and cosmic purpose? After Darwin can we have a plausible understanding of God that is both consistent with traditional belief and adequate to the reality of evolution?

The presentation will outline a "theology of evolution" as one aspect of the theology of nature. It will begin by setting forth some of the apparent obstacles to a religious or theological interpretation of evolution. Second, it will discuss some of the ways in which theologians and religious thinkers have attempted to reconcile the idea of God with Darwin's picture of life. Finally, it will show how the idea of God can be appropriately understood in such a way as to render theologically intelligible the general features of nature that underlie biological evolution.

References:
Dawkins, Richard, River Out of Eden, (New York: Basic Books, 1995)
Dawkins, Richard, Climbing Mount Improbable (New York: W. W. Norton & Co., 1996).
Dennett, Daniel C., Darwin's Dangerous Idea: Evolution and the Meaning of Life (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1995).
Haught, John F., God After Darwin, 2nd Editition (Boulder, Colo: westview Press, 2007
Teilhard de Chardin, Pierre, Christianity and Evolution, trans. René Hague (New York: Harcourt Brace & Co., 1969).
Moltmann, Jürgen, “God's Kenosis in the Creation and Consummation of the World”, in
Polkinghorne, John, editor, The Work of Love: Creation as Kenosis (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdman's Publishing Company, 2001..