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English | ISBN: 081321470X | 2006 | 257 pages | PDF | 3 MB
Written by Archbishop Józef Życiński of Lublin, this book offers an important and insightful examination of the basic philosophical questions involved in the relation between evolutionary theory and the Christian religion. It is made more valuable by its serious study of Pope John Paul II's message about evolution issued in 1996.
The book begins with a discussion of the biological and metaphysical aspects of Darwin's own conception of evolution. It goes on to reject two versions of "fundamentalism"―the Christian anti-evolutionism of authors such as Phillip Johnson and the anti-Christian scientism of authors such as Richard Dawkins―and to explore the possibility of a dialogue between evolution and Christian thought from the perspective of Pope John Paul II.
Next, Życiński calls into question the classical opposition between the teleological and the causal interpretation of evolutionary processes. He attempts to overcome that opposition by reliance on the concepts of supervenience and an evolutionary attractor. In this way, he proposes a new approach in which teleological anthropomorphisms as well as reductionist metaphors are avoided.
The author then presents a theology of nature in which particular attention is given to the immanence of God and to Divine kenosis. Finally, the book offers a theological anthropology, including chapters on the harmonization of paleontology and theological anthropology, the limits of sociobiology, and original sin in relation to scientific knowledge of the human person.
"Życiński has written an original and valuable theology of evolution. It is significant that a respected Catholic bishop embraces evolution with such enthusiasm and interprets it in such a sophisticated and appealing way."―John F. Haught, Georgetown University
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Józef Życiński is Archbishop of Lublin, Poland. Kenneth W. Kemp is associate professor of philosophy at the University of St. Thomas. Zuzanna Maślanka is a graduate student at the Catholic University of Lublin.
PRAISE FOR THE BOOK:
"In this significant contribution to the contemporary dialogue between religion and science, the archbishop of Lublin, Poland, himself a renowned philosopher of science, builds a case for Christian evolutionism. . . . The author's familiarity with contemporary views of Protestant and Catholic theologians and evolutionary scientists gives this volume added authority. Anyone interested in the topic will profit from reading this work. Summing up: Recommended." ― S.C. Pearson, Choice
"Zycinski draws on new insights in physics and philosophy. . . . Zycinski offers a genuine alternative to contemporary theologies of nature and evolution. It is grounded in a real engagement with science, while it challenges the philosophical assumptions of science. By taking into account human suffering, Zycinski may have actually achieved a truly new direction for a theology of evolution, a notion of a divinely immanent drama that issues forth a mysterious beauty. . . . [Zycinski offers] a profound insight in a field awash with simplistic and tired interpretations." ― Alejandro Garcia-Rivera, Theological Studies
"God and Evolution constitutes a learned academic study laced with numerous references to the relevant literature. . . . [T]he book contains a host of trenchant and moving passages, and readers will find Zycinski's speculations to be a rich source of intellectual stimulation. God and Evolution is an important contribution to the contemporary debate surrounding the relation between theological faith and modern scientific rationality." ― Peter A. Pagan, National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly