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Can the origins of morality be explained entirely in evolutionary terms? If so, what are the implications for Christian moral theology and ethics? Is the latter redundant, as socio-biologists often assert? Stephen Pope argues that theologians need to engage with evolutionary theory rather than ignoring it. He shows that our growing knowledge of human evolution is compatible with Christian faith and morality, provided that the former is not interpreted reductionistically and the latter is not understood in fundamentalist ways. Christian ethics ought to incorporate evolutionary approaches to human nature to the extent that they provide helpful knowledge of the conditions of human flourishing, both collective and individual. From this perspective, a strong affirmation of human dignity and appreciation for the theological virtues of faith, hope and charity is consistent with a revised account of natural law and the cardinal virtues.Read more
- Argues that Christians must give serious attention to evolutionary theories of morality and altruism
- Offers a critical but sympathetic reading of secular accounts of evolutionary ethics and sociobiology
- Suggests that Christian ethics and evolutionary theories are complementary rather than mutually exclusive
Reviews & endorsements
"Public conflicts between science and religion tend to pit evolutionary biology against creationist critics, especially where the origins of human life are concerned. Stephen Pope focuses on these issues in Human Evolution and Christian Ethics. Pope argues that evolutionary theory makes important positive contributions to our understanding of human flourishing and the role of faith in the development of human life."
-Christian CenturySee more reviews
Stephen Pope's Human Evolution and Christian Ethics is a remarkable achievement in the field of science and religion. ... Pope makes an important contribution to the scholarly literature on Christian faith and its engagement with evolution." --Anglican Theological Review
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- Date Published: March 2011
- format: Paperback
- isbn: 9780521175302
- length: 374 pages
- dimensions: 229 x 152 x 21 mm
- weight: 0.55kg
- availability: Manufactured on demand: supplied direct from the printer
Table of Contents
1. Evolution and religion
2. The indifference of Christian ethics to human evolution
3. Varieties of reductionism
4. Faith, creation and evolution
5. Chance and purpose in evolution
6. Human nature and the human good
7. Freedom and responsibility
8. Human dignity and common descent
9. Christian love and evolutionary altruism
10. The natural roots of morality
11. Natural law in an evolutionary context
12. Sex, marriage and family.
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