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This article offers one response from within Christianity to the theological challenges of Darwinism. It identifies evolutionary theory as a key aspect of the context of contemporary Christian hermeneutics. Examples of the need for re-reading of scripture, and reassessment of key doctrines, in the light of Darwinism include the reading of the creation and fall accounts of Genesis 1–3, the reformulation of the Christian doctrine of humanity as created in the image of God, and the possibility of a new approach to the Incarnation in the light of evolution and semiotics. Finally, a theodicy in respect of evolutionary suffering is outlined, in dialogue with recent writings attributing such suffering to a force in opposition to God. The latter move is rejected on both theological and scientific grounds. Further work on evolutionary theodicy is proposed, in relation in particular to the doctrine of creatio ex nihilo.
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Keywords: Darwinism; Das Nichtige; Fall; Genesis; Gospel of John; Job; Karl Barth; Shadow Sophia; creatio ex nihilo; evolution; hermeneutics; imago Dei; semiotics; theodicy

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Christopher Southgate is Research Fellow in the Department of Theology, University of Exeter.

Publication date: 2011-06-01

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