Shop now Learn more Shop now Shop All Amazon Fashion Shop Suki Ad Campaign Pieces Cloud Drive Photos Shop now Amazon Fire TV Shop now Halloween Pets Shop now Shop Fire Shop Kindle Voyage Listen in Prime Learn more Shop now
The Evolving God and over 2 million other books are available for Amazon Kindle . Learn more
FREE Delivery in the UK.
Only 1 left in stock (more on the way).
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
The Evolving God: Charles... has been added to your Basket
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 3 images

The Evolving God: Charles Darwin on the Naturalness of Religion Paperback – 1 Aug 2013

See all formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price
New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
"Please retry"
£4.90 £16.37
£19.33 FREE Delivery in the UK. Only 1 left in stock (more on the way). Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

Special Offers and Product Promotions

  • Save £20 on with the aqua Classic card. Get an initial credit line of £250-£1,200 and build your credit rating. Representative 32.9% APR (variable). Subject to term and conditions. Learn more.

No Kindle device required. Download one of the Free Kindle apps to start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet and computer.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone

To get the free app, enter your e-mail address or mobile phone number.

Product details

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, and more.

Product Description


'This book is the most nuanced discussion of Darwin's religious views that I have seen. At a time when studies of Darwin's ideas and even devotion to Darwin are at a high point, this particular work calmly, methodically, insightfully and without polemic treats Darwin's religious sensibilities in such a way as to overcome countless biases and inaccuracies in many previous discussions. Its lucid style and readability make it an attractive book for both undergraduate and graduate students, but also for a very wide readership beyond the academy.' --John F. Haught, Senior Fellow, Science & Religion, Georgetown University, USA

'In this masterful overview, the author helpfully shifts the discussion about Darwin and religion away from Darwin's 'loss of faith' to a more nuanced picture of Darwin as the theist/deist/agnostic who continued to engage with religion, indeed intellectually struggled over religion, until his dying day. The book subverts the polarised narratives of the 'new atheists' and provides instead a more relevant text for the contemporary interaction between science and religion.' --Denis Alexander, Emeritus Director, The Faraday Institute for Science and Religion, St. Edmunds College, University of Cambridge, UK

'A thoughtful and comprehensive treatment of Charles Darwin's thinking about religion, brought vividly to life by a warm and genuine sympathy for the people and their ideas. It is a book to be read both by the expert and the general reader.' --Michael Ruse, Lucyle T. Werkmeister Professor of Philosophy, Director of the Program in the History and Philosophy of Science, Florida State University, USA

About the Author

J. David Pleins is Professor of Religious Studies at Santa Clara University, USA. He is the author of three books, including When the Great Abyss Opened: Classic and Contemporary Readings of Noah's Flood (Oxford University Press, 2003), and served as an associate editor for The Anchor Bible Dictionary, 6 volumes (Doubleday, 1992).

Inside This Book

(Learn More)
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
Search inside this book:

Customer Reviews

There are no customer reviews yet on
5 star
4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star

Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Substantive 4 Nov. 2013
By Oputz - Published on
Format: Paperback
Contemporary atheists hold on to a myth, and Copernicus, Galileo, and Darwin are its heroes. The story goes like this: Persecuted by devout fanatics, these intellectual giants proved once and for all that science renders religion superfluous! Truly, intellectual giants they were, but it is highly doubtful they would have agreed to participating in such a dramatic farce. Copernicus had studied canon law, Galileo wrote his 1615 letter to the Duchess Christina in which he argued that God reveals Godself in the book of nature, and Darwin, though he abandoned traditional biblical beliefs, remained open to the question of religiosity throughout his life. If only life were as simple as catch phrases or History Channel specials...

If you are tired of the tirades of logical positivists in short pants, pick up this brief but very insightful and extraoridnarily well researched study by David Pleins. Using Darwin's struggle with religiosity as a natural phenomenon as its starting place, the book asks how the natural sciences and religion can be related to each other in a productive manner. Pleins explores Darwin's complex relationship with faith and comes to the conclusion that while Darwin had long abandoned traditional biblical beliefs, he remained a life-long seeker, taking the phenomenon of religiosity not as merely the idiosyncratic delusion of a few scared simpletons, but rather as the human universal it truly is (even if there are those who don't believe). For Darwin, faith was a natural phenomenon that may offer adaptive value. That alone does not mean, however, that God does not subsist. Rather, it leaves the question open and, thus room for a meaningful conservation.

Yes, such a conservation has one little hick-up: it does not escape complexity. But then, for simplicity we sill have catch phrases, the History Channel and... oh, yes, the New Atheists.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Terrific, challenging, new take on Darwin 10 Oct. 2013
By Catherine Wolff - Published on
Format: Paperback
In The Evolving God: Charles Darwin on the Naturalness of Religion, J. David Pleins provides a new understanding not only of Charles Darwin, but also of the relationship between science and religion.

In contrast to Richard Dawkins and others who have portrayed Darwin as one who simply lost his faith in the course of his scientific research, and who use him as a "sledgehammer to beat religion," Pleins offers a nuanced view. Darwin continued to struggle throughout his life with theological questions, complicated by his growing awareness that "evolution was not just about physical forms but had religious and moral trajectories."

Pleins traces this development - one might say evolution -- in Darwin's thought through close (and impressively documented) readings of his writings from his diaries aboard the Beagle to his late letters, and through accounts of the domestic and public debates over Darwin's ideas. It is both touching and intriguing to read that Darwin's only regret towards the end of his life, what he called his "great sin," was that he had failed to do "more direct good to my fellow-creatures."

I would recommend this book to anybody seeking a more intellectually grounded debate, and a more productive relationship, between science and religion.
... exploring the oft-overlooked spiritual and theological reflections of the great scientist. 16 Dec. 2014
By Benjamin Daniel - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book helps to flesh out and to humanize Darwin by exploring the oft-overlooked spiritual and theological reflections of the great scientist.
0 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Terrible 6 Oct. 2013
By S - Published on
Format: Paperback
This book is poorly written and full of grammatical mistakes. Not only does the author belabour the few points he brings to the table, but the actual text is ~100 pages long, and stuffed with footnotes. The author raises many questions, but declines to answer most of them, offering only a halfhearted analysis of the few he does. Do yourself a favor and do not waste a penny on this overpriced drivel.
Were these reviews helpful? Let us know