9781623566524

The Evolving God Charles Darwin on the Naturalness of Religion

by
  • ISBN13:

    9781623566524

  • ISBN10:

    1623566525

  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2013-06-06
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic

Note: Supplemental materials are not guaranteed with Rental or Used book purchases.

Purchase Benefits

  • Free Shipping On Orders Over $35!
    Your order must be $35 or more to qualify for free economy shipping. Bulk sales, PO's, Marketplace items, eBooks and apparel do not qualify for this offer.
  • Get Rewarded for Ordering Your Textbooks! Enroll Now
List Price: $130.00 Save up to $13.00
  • Rent Book $117.00
    Add to Cart Free Shipping

    TERM
    PRICE
    DUE
    USUALLY SHIPS IN 3-5 BUSINESS DAYS

Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?

  • The New copy of this book will include any supplemental materials advertised. Please check the title of the book to determine if it should include any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.
  • The Rental copy of this book is not guaranteed to include any supplemental materials. Typically, only the book itself is included. This is true even if the title states it includes any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.

Summary

In focusing on the story of Darwin's religious doubts, scholars too often overlook Darwin's positive contribution to the study of religion.

J. David Pleins traces Darwin's journey in five steps. He begins with Darwin's global voyage, where his encounter with religious and cultural diversity transformed his understanding of religion. Surprisingly, Darwin wrestles with serious theological questions even as he uncovers the evolutionary layers of religion from savage roots. Next, we follow Darwin as his doubts about traditional biblical religion take root, affecting his career choice and marriage to Emma Wedgwood. Pleins then examines Darwin's secret notebooks as he searches for a materialist theory of religion. Again, other surprises loom as Darwin's reading of Comte's three stages of religion's development actually predate his reading of Malthus. Pleins explores how Darwin applied his discovery to the realm of ethics by formulating an evolutionary view of the "Golden Rule" in his Descent of Man. Finally, he considers Darwin's later reflections on the religion question, as he wrestled with whether his views led to atheism, agnosticism, or a new kind of theism.

The Evolving God concludes by looking at some of the current religious debates surrounding Darwin and suggests the need for a deeper appreciation for Darwin as a religious thinker. Though he grew skeptical of traditional Christian dogma, Darwin made key discoveries concerning the role and function of religion as a natural evolutionary phenomenon.

Author Biography

J. David Pleins is Professor of Religious Studies at Santa Clara University, USA. He is the author of three books, including When the Great Abyss Opened: Classic and Contemporary Readings of Noah's Flood (Oxford University Press, 2003), and served as an associate editor for The Anchor Bible Dictionary, 6 volumes (Doubleday, 1992).

Table of Contents

Preface: Charles Darwin and the Evolution of Religion
1. Unsettling Encounters: First Steps Toward an Evolutionary View of Religion

2. A Painful Void: Darwin's Religious Doubts

3. Did Religion Evolve?: The Search for a Theory

4. The Golden Rule: An Evolutionary Vision of Religion and Morality

5. A Certain Sympathy: Darwin and the Creed of Science

Conclusion: Reflecting on Darwin Today

Bibliography

Index

Rewards Program

Write a Review