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Christianity in Evolution: An Exploration Paperback – 1 Aug 2011

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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Georgetown University Press; Original edition (1 Aug. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1589017692
  • ISBN-13: 978-1589017696
  • Product Dimensions: 21.6 x 14.1 x 1.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 480,427 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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About the Author

Jack Mahoney is emeritus professor of moral and social theology in the University of London and a former principal of Heythrop College, University of London. He is the author of several books, including The Making of Moral Theology: A Study of the Roman Catholic Tradition.

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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Ken on 7 Feb. 2012
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I would see myself as quite a committed Catholic but for some years I have felt more uneasy with the doctines of atonement and original sin in the light of new scientific evidence regarding evolution etc. How could we speak of a Fall or Adam and Eve as the beginning of sin when we are now aware that the origins of humanity are more complex? So I have longed to find a book that would address this issue and I finally found it. This book is very readable, very open minded and deeply nourishing. The author is not out to destroy the above doctines but delicately, gently and faithfully challeneges the shortcomings of these doctrines. There are some areas I would still disagree with him on but he is a masterclass in revealing a greater depth to understanding Jesus in the light of evolutionary developments.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Old Jack on 3 Mar. 2012
Format: Paperback
The author points to the fact that, while christian theologians have long accepted the idea of evolution, they have not given much attention to the implications of such a world view for their beliefs.
Human evil and death have been ascribed to original sin: the first human pair sinned and thus forfeited God's grace, resulting in a weakening of the will and finally death not only for themselves but for all their descendants.
The author suggests that it may be more appropriate to see our leanings towards evil and our dying to the fact that we have evolved from earlier life-forms which decay and destroy each other in a constant battle to survive. Death is a part of this process. We humans, however, are called to a higher life of mutual love that is a share in Christ's own life and we are destined to conquer death just as He did.
Mahoney, with an impressive array of theological learning and references, suggests that Christ would have become human even if there had been no sin. His becoming part of creation was not a desperate rescue attempt but the original plan of the three divine persons who are totally one in mind and heart.
Christ was put to death most cruelly in a world where people from the beginning had sinned and created a society with greed and injustice woven into its very fabric. His death was not a sacrifice of expiation offered to a god who was eagerly waiting for His blood but was rather the price He had to pay for becoming a man who was without sin and utterly dedicated to His Father's desire to bring about a world where mutual love was the norm rather than greed and selfishness.
Philosophically christians have understood themselves as a material body/spiritual soul kind of entity which is not a part of revelation but of Greek culture.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By johann28 on 1 July 2013
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Agree with the other reviews here. Whilst there is a bit of over-use of the word 'evolutionary' at times, the overall argument is compelling viewing - Mahoney has a knack of sifting what is important and what isn't from traditional Christian doctrine when viewed through the lens of 'Darwinism', demythologising Scripture whilst preserving its essence and importance, shooting down the old, severe (and ridiculous) Augustinian paradigm and substituting an intellectually coherent, human alternative theology that I found thoroughly convincing. Quite the best thing I've read on the subject in a long, long while.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By J.Fraser on 4 Jun. 2013
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This book has fully met my expectations. The author has dealt clearly and expertly with theology relating to the "Fall" and so-called "original sin". He rejects these beliefs in the light of Darwinian evolution, together with the theological implication that the crucifixion of Jesus was an act of propitiation to assuage God's anger, which was supposedly aroused by the (non-existent) "Fall". Mahoney has researched his subject very thoroughly and gives numerous references, and his treatment of related topics, also in comparison with evolutionary theory, gives plenty of food for thought.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mìcheil on 9 Dec. 2012
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A thought-provoking, perhaps controversial, book by this Scots (note, M. Neuman, not English) moral theologian. Brilliant treatise on the compatibility, or otherwise, of Christian moral theology and modern science.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Felicity on 15 April 2014
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This is a breath of fresh thinking. It is a book to take slowly, I shall have to re read it, but at first reading it filled me with hope, just as the work of Teillard de Chardin did many years ago. Evolution has implications for our fresh understanding of old dogmas, old understandings make way for new and more credible ones. A most interesting book for a lay Catholic, and it all makes good sense of what previously I found baffling.
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