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Grace in evolutionary perspective: the furthering of nature

By Henry Leonard Novello


The aim of this short reflection is to consider\ud the fundamental issue of grace from the\ud perspective of evolution: What light does an\ud evolutionary view of the world shed on this\ud problematic? If God creates through the evolutionary\ud process, then clearly the rethinking\ud of the doctrine of creation will also inform a\ud theology of grace. Teilhard de Chardin, Karl\ud Rahner, Denis Edwards, and George Coyne are\ud examples of Catholic thinkers committed to doing theology in an evolutionary perspective\ud by building on the concept of God’s continuous\ud creation (creatio continua) that belongs\ud to the Catholic theological tradition.\ud They draw upon scientific knowledge of our\ud evolving world, but they approach the scientific\ud data as theologians seeking greater understanding\ud of the faith. This is to say that\ud they do not substitute science for religious\ud faith, but they do see a legitimate dialogue\ud between the two disciplines, each of which\ud has its own realm of applicability. And with\ud regard to this dialogue we must keep in mind\ud that just as scientific theories are always incomplete,\ud our religious understanding of God\ud is also always incomplete, as the apophatic\ud tradition of theology, represented by Pseudo\ud Dionysius, makes abundantly clear

Topics: Theology, Creation, Evolution
Publisher: Australian Province of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart
Year: 2009
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