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Human Evolution and Christian Ethics

Stephen J. Pope (Cambridge University Press: September 2007), 352 pages.

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. ~ Product Description

Table of Contents

    • General editor’s preface     xi
    • Acknowledgments     xii
    • Introduction     1
    • Evolution and religion     8
    • The indifference of Christian ethics to human evolution     32
    • Varieties of reductionism     56
    • Faith, creation, and evolution     76
    • Chance and purpose in evolution     111
    • Human nature and human flourishing     129
    • Freedom and responsibility     158
    • Human dignity and common descent     188
    • Christian love and evolutionary altruism     214
    • The natural roots of morality     250
    • Natural law in an evolutionary context     268
    • Sex, marriage, and family     297
    • Bibliography     320
    • Index of scriptural citations     346
    • Index of names and subjects     348