Argues that both evolutionism and creationism rely too heavily on notions of underlying order and design. Instead of focusing on the idea of novelty in human experience-novelty as a necessary component of evolution, and as the essence of divine Mystery. In God After Darwin, John Haught argues that the ongoing debate between Darwinian evolutionists and Christian apologists is fu...
Argues that both evolutionism and creationism rely too heavily on notions of underlying order and design. Instead of focusing on the idea of novelty in human experience-novelty as a necessary component of evolution, and as the essence of divine Mystery. In God After Darwin, John Haught argues that the ongoing debate between Darwinian evolutionists and Christian apologists is fundamentally misdirected: both sides persist in focusing upon an explanation of underlying design and order in the universe. Haught suggests that what is lacking in both of these competing ideologies is the notion of novelty, a necessary component of evolution and the essence of the unfolding of divine Mystery. He argues that Darwin's disturbing picture of life, instead of being hostile to religion - as scientific skeptics and many believers have thought it to be - actually provides a most fertile setting for mature reflection on the idea of God. Solidly grounded in scholarship, Haught's explanation of the relationship between theology and evolution is both accessible and engaging.
"Haught's remarkable study faces without flinching the challenge that the evolutionary character of reality presents to a robust and intelligent [or credible] belief in God. In a most readable and perceptive manner the author dissects the character of that challenge, points out the limitations on its understanding imposed by its prejudices, and explores an excitingly open view of God's creative involvement in the processes of reality and its ecological significance. This is a book full of illuminating insights that will stimulate and inform all those who are seriously interested in the science and religion debate today." -David A. Pailin, University of Manchester
"The relationship of science and religion has once again assumed centrality among cultural and intellectual concerns. John Haught has encouraged this development and continues to give leadership to the reflection involved. This book provides an original, insightful, and exhilarating look at how a quite radical version of neo-Darwinian theory, usually understood as excluding and belief in God, can in fact aid Christians in developing a more Biblical faith by replacing the God of static design and controlling power with the God of vulnerable, self-giving love." -John B. Cobb, Jr., School of Theology at Claremont
"A lucid, learned, and liberating book with a new insight on almost every page. A pleasure to read, God After Darwin subtly rearranges the religious furniture in your head. Haught's thought-provoking proposals, especially his view of God as the dynamic, loving power of the future with a vision rather than a plan for this evolving universe, deserves wide readership and discussion." -Elizabeth A. Johnson, Fordham University
"Haught argues that evolutionary biology can enrich theological conviction, and vice versa. He does so with vigor and insight, reforming and deepening classical ideas of God, often regaining overlooked Biblical wisdom. Against fears of irreconcilable conflict, Haught's challenge is that theology after Darwin not only survives, but is even more of an adapted fit in the world. His analysis is seminal, fertile enough to breed a next generation of theologians." -Holmes Rolston III, Colorado State University; author of Genes, Genesis and God
"On the highly embattled issue of God and evolution, the most well-known positions tell us that God exists but evolution doesn't, that evolution exists but God doesn't, or that science and religion are completely different things. Jack Haught's God After Darwin, which regards evolution as "a gift to theology," presents an alternative vision - of a universe still unfinished and a Creator who, far from the omnipotent designer undermined by evolution, is the cosmic source of possibility, value, novelty, information, and beauty." -David Ray Griffin, Claremont School of Theology; author of Religion and Scientific Naturalism: Overcoming the Conflicts
"God is dead. At least the god of intelligent design is dead, gone the way of the god of the gaps. Daniel Dennett and Richard Dawkins need to re-tool their tedious and narrow theology. In God After Darwin: A Theology of Creation, theologian John F. Haught makes the exciting and compelling case that far from undermining the existence of God, Darwinian evolution points the way to a fresh understanding of God and the natural world. Creation is not finished and the future, so green with the promise of novelty, is not determined. God in an evolutionary cosmos is not a God of static being but of dynamic becoming. A finished creation must be a perfect creation, which is contradicted by the fact of suffering. If creation were perfect, what need have we of a Savior? Because creation cannot receive God's infinite love in a finite instant, the world necessarily has to transform and expand, in a word, to evolve. An unfinished world is necessarily an imperfect world. Drawing on the works of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Alfred North Whitehead and Karl Rahner among others, Haught has articulated an understanding of God that respects Christian orthodoxy but also resonates with the world of Darwin, Einstein and Hawking. Can it be that theology owns its own "dangerous idea," namely that metaphysical materialism is incompetent to make full sense of the actual discoveries of evolutionary science? Haught argues that the theological metaphysics of Teilhard allows all of the data of evolution, especially the emergence of novelty, to stand out. In short, he argues for a metaphysics of the future. As an evolutionary biologist, I have read Haught's book with excitement, admiration and pleasure-though it will take me a long time to ponder all of the stimulating ideas." -Peter Dodson, University of Pennsylvania; President, Philadelphia Center for Religion
"John Haught has a track record of presenting magisterial contributions to our understanding of how to regard the engagement of religion and science. In this book, he performs a twofold task: he shows how traditional thinking about God might take the measure of contemporary evolutionary science, and he also provides a resource for theologically serious thinkers in the ongoing work of reconstructing faith in a scientific age. His proposals carry the work to a new level." -Philip Hefner, Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago; director, Zygon Center for Religion and Science; editor, Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science