For millennia plant and animal species have received little sustained attention as subjects of Christian theology and ethics in their own right. Focused on the human dilemma of sin and redemptive grace, theology has considered the doctrine of creation to be mainly an overture to the main drama of human beings relationship to God.Read more...
For millennia plant and animal species have received little sustained attention as subjects of Christian theology and ethics in their own right. Focused on the human dilemma of sin and redemptive grace, theology has considered the doctrine of creation to be mainly an overture to the main drama of human beings relationship to God. What value does the natural world have within the framework of religious belief? The crisis of biodiversity in our day, when species are going extinct at more than 1,000 times the natural rate, renders this question acutely important.Standard perspectives need to be realigned; theology needs to look out of the window, so to speak as well as in the mirror. Ask the Beasts: Darwin and the God of Love leads to the conclusion that love of the natural world is an intrinsic element of faith in God and that far from being an add-on, ecological care is at the centre of moral life.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2014-03-03
- Reviewer: Staff
When Charles Darwin published On the Origin of Species in 1859, he essentially declared an end to our lack of curiosity about human beginnings and the natural evolution of the material world. He was considered an unbeliever and a hell-bound heretic. But as time has passed, students of science and religion have come to acknowledge that Darwin was neither, spurring an energetic defense of Darwin's fundamental premise and its trajectories into our world. In this brilliantly written volume, Johnson (Quest for the Living God), a professor of theology at Fordham University, seamlessly integrates Darwin's understanding with a deeply held belief in a God who enters the world of matter, bringing to life a "community of creation"—an ever-creating God expressing god-self in life's infinite varieties. Key to understanding Johnson's thesis is the ability to look beyond the literalness of scripture to see the harmonious whole of the created order. "We evolved relationally; we exist symbiotically; our existence depends on interaction with the rest of the natural world," Johnson writes. Engrossing and wonderfully realized, this is a book to be read and loved. (Mar.)