Groaning Of Creation

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Pain, suffering, and extinction are intrinsic to the evolutionary process. In this book Christopher Southgate shows how the world that is "very good" is also "groaning in travail" and subjected by God to that travail. Southgate then evaluates several attempts at evolutionary theodicy and argues for his own approach—an approach that takes full account of God's self-emptying and human beings' special responsibilities as created co-creators.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780664230906
  • Publisher: Westminster John Knox Press
  • Publication date: 6/19/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 210
  • Sales rank: 831,831
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.80 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Christopher Southgate is Honorary University Fellow in Theology at the University of Exeter in England and Visiting Scholar at the Graduate Theological Union and Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences in Berkeley, California. Originally trained as a biochemist at the University of Cambridge, he is the general editor and principal author of God, Humanity and the Cosmos.

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Table of Contents

Preface     ix
Acknowledgments     xi
Introduction     1
The "Good" and the "Groaning"     1
Evolutionary Theory     2
Objections: Perhaps There Isn't a Problem After All     3
Seeing the Creation Truly     6
Refining the Problem     7
Responses to the Problem from Darwin Onward     10
A Key Move in Evolutionary Theodicy     12
My Own Approach: A Compound Evolutionary Theodicy     15
Roads Not Taken     18
Introduction     18
Creationism and Intelligent Design     18
God Not the Creator, or Not Benevolent?     20
The God of Process Theology     22
Teilhard de Chardin     25
Doing without a Fall from Paradise     28
Freedom, Suffering, and Love     35
Strategies in Evolutionary Theodicy     40
Introduction     40
Good-Harm Analyses     41
The Centrality of a Developmental Approach to the Goods and Harms of Evolution     47
A Focus on the Suffering of the Individual Creature     48
God's Co-Suffering with the Creature     50
An Adventure in the Theology of Creation     55
Introduction     55
The Suffering of God     56
Divine Self-Emptying     57
Developing a Theology of Evolutionary Creation     60
The Human Animal and Its "Selving"     71
God's Providential Action in the World     73
The Significance of the Cross and Resurrection     75
Heaven for Pelicans? Eschatological Considerations     78
Introduction     78
Eschatology and Cosmology     79
Motives for Postulating the Existence of Nonhuman Creatures in a Redeemed Creation     82
Does an Evolutionary Theodicy Require Redemption of Individual Creatures?     82
Exploring a Redeemed Existence for Creatures at the Eschaton     85
Why Did God Not Just Create Heaven?     90
The Call of Humanity     92
Creation Groaning in Travail     92
The Freedom of the Glory of the Children of God     96
Humans as Contemplatives of Creation     97
Human Nature-Scientific and Theological Understandings     99
Ethical Kenosis     101
A Cautionary Word     103
Possible Callings for Human Beings in Respect of the Rest of Creation     104
Preisthood of Creation Reconsidered     110
Conclusion      113
Ethical Proposals and Conclusion     116
Introduction     116
Eschatological Vegetarianism     116
Global Justice, Global Warming, and the Glass Abbatoir     122
The Ethics of Extinction     124
Conclusion     132
Notes     134
Index     185
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