Darwinism and the Divine: Evolutionary Thought and Natural Theology

Paperback|Feb 2011
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Darwinism and the Divine examines the implications of evolutionary thought for natural theology, from the time of publication of Darwin's On the Origin of Species to current debates on creationism and intelligent design. - Questions whether Darwin's theory of natural...

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Darwinism and the Divine examines the implications of evolutionary thought for natural theology, from the time of publication of Darwin's On the Origin of Species to current debates on creationism and intelligent design.
- Questions whether Darwin's theory of natural selection really shook our fundamental beliefs, or whether they served to transform and illuminate our views on the origins and meaning of life
- Identifies the forms of natural theology that emerged in 19th-century England and how they were affected by Darwinism
- The most detailed study yet of the intellectual background to William Paley's famous and influential approach to natural theology, set out in 1802
- Brings together material from a variety of disciplines, including the history of ideas, historical and systematic theology, evolutionary biology, anthropology, sociology, and the cognitive science of religion
- Considers how Christian belief has adapted to Darwinism, and asks whether there is a place for design both in the world of science and the world of theology
- A thought-provoking exploration of 21st-century views on evolutionary thought and natural theology, written by the world-renowned theologian and bestselling author.


  • Catalogue Code 319117
  • Product Code 9781444333442
  • ISBN 1444333445
  • EAN 9781444333442
  • Pages 314
  • Department Academic
  • Category Science
  • Sub-Category General
  • Publisher Blackwell Publishing
  • Publication Date Feb 2011
  • Sales Rank 74759
  • Dimensions 228 x 155 x 17mm
  • Weight 0.472kg

Alister E Mcgrath

Scientist, and former atheist, turned internationally-regarded theologian and prolific author, Revd Professor Alister McGrath, (D.Phil (Oxon), earned D.D. (Oxon) has been appointed to the newly created Chair in Theology, Ministry and Education at King's College, London. Formerly he was Professor of Historical Theology, and Senior Research Fellow at Harris Manchester College, Oxford.
He is a world-renowned theologian, and is the author of numerous bestselling titles including The Christian Theology Reader; Theology; Christianity: An Introduction; A Brief History of Heaven, and Dawkins' God .

McGrath is an Evangelical on the cutting edge of the interface between Theology and Science, and Theology within post-modern culture as indicated by his most recent publications A Fine-Tuned Universe? Anthropic Phenomena and Natural Theology(2009),The Dawkins Delusion? Atheist Fundamentalism and the Denial of the Divine and The Open Secret: A New Vision for Natural Theology.
Koorong -Editorial Review.

  • List Of Figures X Preface Xii Acknowledgments Xv Introduction 1 Part I Conceptual Clarifications: On The Meaning Of Terms 9 1 Natural Theology: A Deeper Structure To The Natural World 11 Natural Theology In The Classical Tradition 13 The Conceptual Fluidity Of Natural Theology 15 The Eternal Return Of Natural Theology 18 2 Darwinism: A Narrative Of Evolution 27 Darwinism: A Defensible Term? 28 Darwinism As An Ideology 32 The Metaphysical Inflation Of Evolutionary Thought 36 Conclusion To Part I 40 Part Ii Historical Exposition: Darwin And The English Natural Theology Tradition 47 3 English Natural Theology Of The Augustan Age, 1690-1745 49 The Emergence Of English Natural Theology 50 Newtonian Physics And Natural Theology 53 The Protestant Assumptions Of English Natural Theology 56 A Foundation For Consensus: The Doctrine Of Creation 61 Physico-theology: The Appeal To Contrivance 63 Natural Theology And The Beauty Of Nature 72 The Problem Of Development Within Nature 74 Assessing Evidence: Changing Public Perceptions 75 4 A Popular Classic: William Paley's Natural Theology (1802) 85 Introducing Paley's Natural Theology 85 Paley's Source: Bernard Nieuwentyt's Religious Philosopher (1718) 88 The Watch Analogy: The Concept Of Contrivance 91 Paley On Intermediary Causes Within Nature 97 The Vulnerability Of Paley's Approach 99 5 Beyond Paley: Shifts In English Natural Theology, 1802-52 108 The Impact Of Geology Upon Paley's Natural Theology 110 Henry Brougham: A Natural Theology Of The Mind 112 Evidence, Testimony, And Proof: A Shifting Context 115 A New Approach: The Bridgewater Treatises 119 John Henry Newman: The Theological Deficiencies Of Paley 127 Robert Browning's "caliban Upon Setebos": A Literary Critique Of Paley 130 English Natural Theology On The Eve Of The Darwinian Revolution 133 6 Charles Darwin, Natural Selection, And Natural Theology 143 The Development Of Darwin's Views On Natural Selection 146 Problems, Prediction, And Proof: The Challenge Of Natural Selection 150 Natural Selection And Natural Theology: An Assessment Of Darwin's Impact 155 Conclusion To Part Ii 171 Part Iii Contemporary Discussion: Darwinism And Natural Theology 183 7 A Wider Teleology: Design, Evolution, And Natural Theology 185 Directionality Within The Natural World 187 Teleology: Introducing An Idea 188 Chance, Contingency, And Evolutionary Goals 191 The "wider Teleology" Of Evolution 194 The Inference Of Design And Natural Theology 197 Suffering, Evolution, And Natural Theology 202 8 The Concept Of Creation: Reflections And Reconsiderations 217 The Seventeenth Century: The Regnant Theology Of Creation 218 Creation As Event And Process: Augustine Of Hippo 222 Evolution And An Emergent Creation 230 God's Action Within The Evolutionary Process 233 9 Universal Darwinism: Natural Theology As An Evolutionary Outcome? 247 The Darwinian Paradigm And Cultural Development 249 The God-meme: Natural Theology And Cultural Replicators 254 Religion: Evolutionary Adaptation Or Spandrel? 262 Natural Theology And Evolutionary Theories Of The Origins Of Religion 265 Conclusion To Part Iii 267 Part Iv Conclusion 277 10 The Prospects For Natural Theology 279 Natural Theology And The Human Evolutionary Past 281 Natural Theology, Observational Traction, And The Best Explanation 283 A Community Of Discernment: The Church And Natural Theology 285 In Quest Of Meaning 288 Index 294

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