Darwin and Catholicism Synopsis
This book features an exploration of the interaction between Darwinian ideas and Catholic doctrine. This coherent collection of original papers marks the 150 year anniversary since the publication of Charles Darwin's Origin of Species (1859). Although the area of evolution-related publications is vast, the area of interaction between Darwinian ideas and specifically Catholic doctrine has received limited attention. This interaction is quite distinct from the one between Darwinism and the Christian tradition in general. Interest in Darwin from the Catholic viewpoint has recently been rekindled. The major causes of this include: John Paul II's Message to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences on Evolution in 1996; (2) the document Communion and Stewardship: Human Persons Created in the Image of God issued in 2002; by the International Theological Commission under the supervision of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the present Pope Benedict XVI; Cardinal Christoph Schonborn apparent endorsement of Intelligent Design in his New York Times article Finding Design in Nature of July 7, 2005; and, Pope Benedict XVI's contributions in the recent collection of papers Schopfung und Evolution ( Creation and Evolution ), published in Germany in April, 2007. Responding to this heightened interest, the book offers a valuable collection of work from outstanding Catholic scholars in various fields.
Darwin and Catholicism Press Reviews
[This book] gives a timely snapshot of the state of play in the dialogue between Catholic theology and the legacy of Charles Darwin. It certainly provides a good idea of just how fertile and creative Catholic theology has been over the last century and a half, and of how intense its engagement is today with a host of other disciplines all affected in one way or another by the idea of natural selection. Thinking Faith - The Online Journal of the British Jesuits, 2010 Suggest[s] that contemplation, and not just aggressive rebuttal, might be part of a truly Christian response to Darwin. - The Church Times, 4th June 2010 'This book breaks new ground in current debates. Its distinguished contributors produce valuable insights into the past and present impact of Darwin on Catholicism.' - Roger Trigg, St Cross College, Oxford, UK--Sanford Lakoff 'This is a tremendously important contribution to the science-religion, evolution-Christianity, dialogue. For too long, scientists and religious people equally have failed to communicate, thinking that the other is the enemy with no possibility of fruitful interaction. Despite their great tradition, Catholics particularly have been less than helpful on these matters. Now, virtually in one fell swoop, all is changed. The contributors to Darwin and Catholicism show what a rich subject lies before us. In an age where ill-formed polemics by scientists against religion are runaway best sellers, it is good to have the strongest intellectual arm of the Christian Church reengaged, throwing light and understanding on these matters. Very highly recommended.' - Michael Ruse, Florida State University, USA--Sanford Lakoff 'As this volume shows, any notion of intractable conflict between faith and reason is an extremist fantasy. The true depth of religious thought on Darwin's great idea not only shows respect for science, but a deep appreciation for the esthetic beauty of evolutionary thought. These challenging and enlightening essays demonstrate not only the power of scientific reasoning, but a continuing Catholic commitment to the ultimate unity of knowledge.' - Kenneth R. Miller, Department of Molecular Biology, Cell Biology, and Biochemistry, Brown University, Providence, RI, USA--Sanford Lakoff As a guide to the gradual shifts in receptivity that occurred during the twentieth century, and for insight into current Catholic thinking on the subject, Darwin and Catholicism meets a real need.--Sanford Lakoff This compilation of essays by various scholars of philosophy and science discusses the social paradigm produced by Darwinism and its impact on Catholicism. Three facets of Catholic scholarship: history, morality, and faith were majorly affected by the works of Darwin and continue to be 150 years later. Catholic works such as Humani Generis and Syllabus of Errors are used to highlight the conflicting and aligned views between the Catholic and Darwinian schools of thought. Caruana organizes these papers from both camps in chronological relevance bridging the analytical void that has existed between these two social influences. -Eithne O'Leyne, BOOK NEWS, Inc.