Darwinism and the Divine: Evolutionary Thought and Natural Theology

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Wiley, Feb 28, 2011 - Religion - 314 pages
There remains a widespread perception that Charles Darwin's theory of natural selection marked the demise of any viable Christian natural theology - most notably, that of William Paley. But did Darwinism really shake such fundamental beliefs to the core? Or did Darwin's "dangerous idea" instead serve to transform and illuminate our views on the relation between the natural world and the divine? "Darwinism and the Divine" presents a detailed examination of the implications of evolutionary thought for natural theology, from the publication of "On the" "Origin of Species" more than a century-and-a-half ago through to the present day.

Integrating and extending the latest scholarly research from across a wide variety of disciplines, world-renowned theologian Alister E. McGrath first explores the forms of natural theology that emerged in England from the late 17th century until 1850, showing us how these views were affected by the advent of Darwin's theories. McGrath offers the most detailed account of the intellectual background to William Paley's natural theology currently available, and offers an informed assessment of the impact of Darwin on such approaches. He then considers how Christian belief has adapted to Darwinism, and whether there is a place for design both in the world of science and the world of theology. Journeying well beyond "On the Origin of the Species," "Darwinism and the Divine" offers a scholarly and thought-provoking consideration of the co-existence of natural theology with Darwinism in today's world.

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About the author (2011)

Alister E. McGrath is Head of the Centre for Theology, Religion & Culture, and Professor of Theology, Ministry, and Education at King's College, London. A world-acclaimed theologian, he is the author of numerous books including Christian Theology, 5th edition (2011), The Christian Theology Reader, 4th edition (2011), Science and Religion, 2nd edition (2010), Theology: The Basics, 2nd edition (2007), and Dawkins' God: Genes, Memes and the Meaning of Life (2004).

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