Evolutionary Theory and Religious Belief

Jeffrey P. Schloss

in The Oxford Handbook of Religion and Science

Published in print April 2008 | ISBN: 9780199543656
Published online September 2009 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Religion and Theology

Evolutionary Theory and Religious Belief


Contemporary historiographic critiques of science–religion warfare notwithstanding, there is no denying that Darwinism has been seen by both advocates and critics as challenging important theological beliefs of the Abrahamic traditions. This article explores the three impacts of Darwin: contradicting Scripture, obviating divine design, and magnifying the problem of evil. The ‘debate’ is not just over scientific and religious understandings of origins, but over the very character of the natural world. Almost every issue involves not a two-sided debate – evolution versus creation – but a continuum, often an entire landscape, of nuanced positions. The nomenclature of evolution and creation fails to represent not only the variable landscape of topics and positions, but also the complex explanatory hierarchy in scientific and religious understanding. Evolutionary biology and theology entail, and therefore interact at, various levels of interpretive scale.

Keywords: evolution; Charles Darwin; creationism; evolutionary biology; theology; Scripture

Article.  9040 words. 

Subjects: Religion ; Religion and Science

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribeRecommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »