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Nicola Hoggard Creegan offers a compelling examination of the problem of evil in the context of animal suffering, disease, and extinction and the violence of the evolutionary process. Using the parable of the wheat and the tares as a hermeneutical lens for understanding the tragedy and beauty of evolutionary history, she shows how evolutionary theory has deconstructed the primary theodicy of historic Christianity---the Adamic fall---while scientific research on animals has increased appreciation of animal sentience and capacity for suffering. Animal Suffering and the Problem of Evil responds to this new theodic challenge. Hoggard Creegan argues that nature can be understood as an interrelated mix of the perfect and the corrupted: the wheat and the tares. At times the good is glimpsed, but never easily nor unequivocally. She then argues that humans are not to blame for all evil because so much evil preceded human becoming. Finally, she demonstrates that faith requires a confidence in the visibility of the work of God in nature, regardless of how infinitely subtle and almost hidden it is, affirming that there are ways of perceiving the evolutionary process beyond that 'nature is red in tooth and claw.'
Nicola Hoggard Creegan lectures in theology at Laidlaw College in Auckland, New Zealand. Besides theology she has training in mathematics and biology, and is interested in all matters relating theology to science, evolution, and ecological issues. She is Chair of TANSA (Theology and the Natural Sciences in Aotearoa) which promotes science/theology discussion, and she is a trustee of A Rocha in New Zealand.