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Can a Darwinian be a Christian?


  • 11 b/w illus.
  • Page extent: 256 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.38 kg

Library of Congress

  • Dewey number: 231.7652
  • Dewey version: 21
  • LC Classification: BT712 .R87 2004
  • LC Subject headings:
    • Creationism
    • Religion and science
    • Evolution (Biology)--Philosophy
    • Evolution (Biology)--Religious aspects--Christianity

Library of Congress Record


 (ISBN-13: 9780521637169 | ISBN-10: 0521637163)

This book, first published in 2000, adopts a balanced perspective on the subject to offer a serious examination of both Darwinism and Christianity. He covers a wide range of topics, from the Scopes Monkey Trial to claims about the religious significance of extraterrestrials. He deals with major figures in the current science/religion debate and considers in detail the claims of the new creationism, revealing some surprising parallels between Darwinian materialists and traditional thinkers such as St. Augustine. Michael Ruse argues that, although it is at times difficult for a Darwinian to embrace Christian belief, it is by no means inconceivable. At the same time he suggests ways in which a Christian believer should have no difficulty accepting evolution in general, and Darwinism in particular.

• Only book on this topic for the general reader - written in a lively, engaging manner • Balanced, well-informed perspective from a Darwinian who takes religion seriously


Prologue; 1. Darwinism; 2. Christianity; 3. Origins; 4. Humans; 5. Naturalism; 6. Design; 7. Pain; 8. Extraterrestrials; 9. Christian ethics; 10. Social Darwinism; 11. Social biology; 12. Freedom and determinism; Epilogue.


'By concentrated argument around a number of themes, the origin of life, the soul, design, miracles, pain, ethics, social Darwinism, he manages to throw real light on the complexity of the issues, while suggesting how different standpoints might be reconciled. Ruse's grasp of the subject, clarity of exposition, fair-mindedness and light touch make it a thoroughly stimulating exercise.' Times Literary Supplement

'… Ruse's book serves an important role - building bridges for people who otherwise might not be interested in exploring 'win-win' as opposed to 'win-lose' relationships between science and religion. The argument is spry and engaging.' Nature

'Ruse's fine book contributes significantly to the contemporary dialogue of science and religion. Filled with useful information and sparkling wit, it will provide scientists, theologians and lay readers with the opportunity to think in fresh ways about God, Christianity and evolution.' Commonweal

'Michael Ruse's book is an astonishing contribution … It astonishes because of the bravado of its thesis.' London Review of Books

'Professor Ruse writes with grace and style … he can be credited with a book and theme of contemporary as well as historical significance.' Contemporary Review

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