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God After Darwin: A Theology of Evolution Paperback – July 24, 2007

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Editorial Reviews


"A lucid, learned, and liberating book with a new insight on almost every page. A pleasure to read, God After Darwin subtly rearranges the religious furniture in your head. Haught's thought-provoking proposals, especially his view of God as the dynamic, loving power of the future with a vision rather than a plan for this evolving universe, deserves wide readership and discussion." -- Elizabeth A. Johnson, Fordham University

"Haught argues that evolutionary biology can enrich theological conviction, and vice versa. He does so with vigor and insight, reforming and deepening classical ideas of God, often regaining overlooked Biblical wisdom. Against fears of irreconcilable conflict, Haught's challenge is that theology after Darwin not only survives, but is even more of an adapted fit in the world. His analysis is seminal, fertile enough to breed a next generation of theologians." -- Holmes Rolston III, Colorado State University; author of Genes, Genesis and God

"Haught's remarkable study faces without flinching the challenge that the evolutionary character of reality presents to a robust and intelligent [or credible] belief in God. In a most readable and perceptive manner the author dissects the character of that challenge, points out the limitations on its understanding imposed by its prejudices, and explores an excitingly open view of God's creative involvement in the processes of reality and its ecological significance. This is a book full of illuminating insights that will stimulate and inform all those who are seriously interested in the science and religion debate today." -- David A. Pailin, University of Manchester

"John Haught has a track record of presenting magisterial contributions to our understanding of how to regard the engagement of religion and science. In this book, he performs a twofold task: he shows how traditional thinking about God might take the measure of contemporary evolutionary science, and he also provides a resource for theologically serious thinkers in the ongoing work of reconstructing faith in a scientific age. His proposals carry the work to a new level." -- Philip Hefner, Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago; director, Zygon Center for Religion and Science; editor, Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science

"The relationship of science and religion has once again assumed centrality among cultural and intellectual concerns. John Haught has encouraged this development and continues to give leadership to the reflection involved. This book provides an original, insightful, and exhilarating look at how a quite radical version of neo-Darwinian theory, usually understood as excluding and belief in God, can in fact aid Christians in developing a more Biblical faith by replacing the God of static design and controlling power with the God of vulnerable, self-giving love." -- John B. Cobb, Jr., School of Theology at Claremont --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

John F. Haught is professor at Georgetown University and Director of the Georgetown Center for the Study of Science and Religion. He lives in Arlington, Virginia. John F. Haught is professor at Georgetown University and Director of the Georgetown Center for the Study of Science and Religion. He lives in Arlington, Virginia.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Westview Press; Second Edition edition (July 24, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0813343704
  • ISBN-13: 978-0813343709
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #749,182 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

72 of 81 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 2, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Haught's work here is simply unprecedented. Unlike many other books of a similar genre, Haught doesn't merely attempt to "squeeze" God into a Darwinist world view of reality, neither does he end up portraying God as a helpless first cause Deity. Rather, Haught turns materialism on its head, exposes its limitations and prejudices and clearly portrays God as the dynamic Ground of all Being and as the loving power with a VISION rather than a plan for this evolving Universe.
Haught shows clearly that cosmic and biological evolution deeply enriches theological conviction, and he reveals a robust and intelligent belief in God. The author extensively faces numerous arguments from 'steadfast' materialists like Dawkins and Dennet, (he makes numerous references to Dennet's "Darwin's Dangerous Idea" and Dawkins' 'The Blind Watchmaker'). Haught effortlessly chews them up, spits them out and reveals an exiting open view of God's creative involvement in the processes of reality and its ecological significance.
His chapter on cosmic 'hierarchical information' was particularly insightful - with specific reference to the genetic code of DNA, cosmic self-awareness and the laws of nature. Not only do these phenomena show that the materialist world view is paradoxical and severely limited, but it also reveals the rationale and logic behind religious convictions that the true foundation of all being is the Divine Mind - (the Universal Consciousness, the Ground of all Being - GOD).
Haught has a delectably open outlook on reality and he refrains from making any kind of 'clinical' conclusions like Michael Behe's "irreducible systems".
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By on February 17, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Haught, God after Darwin
This is an extraordinary and excellent book. Haught is an established theologian, and religious writers in general, if they do not reject Darwinism outright, or pass it over in silence, usually either question its scientific status, or build up a theological defense position against it. Not so John Haught. He enthusiastically embraces Evolution, and even makes it a fundamental element in a fresh and interesting theology of his own. And it is not a Darwinism conveniently adjusted to suit theological purposes. Haught proves very well informed about the biological issues involved, and about current scientific debates about them. I speak from experience, since my background includes writing a book on the great Darwinian debates in the 19th century (Darwin and the General Reader, re-issued by Chicago University Press in 1991). Haught's style is lively and forceful. Reading this book, the reader will not necessarily be convinced. But he will learn a great deal, and also be intellectually stimulated. Even exhilarated!
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65 of 78 people found the following review helpful By S. A. Felton on July 25, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Thanks to other reviews on, I came across the author's works, and I am very glad I did. His books are very deep, profound, and thought-provoking. Haught is a propoent of the "engagement" of science and religion, as opposed to the separatist position of writers such as Phillip Johnson ("Darwin On Trial"). He is the only theologian I've come across who faces the challenges posed by Darwinian evolution absolutely squarely, refusing to try to defend what he feels is the antiquated theological notion of God as an intelligent designer of an orderly and purposeful universe. Indeed, evolution by natural selection, as well as the laws of physics, do show us a very chaotic, entropic, often destructive, cruel world.
In addition to the difficult task of defining God in terms of evolution, Haught also attempts to refute the strict materialistic scientism of Dennett and Dawkins. Of course, it is very unlikely that his arguments would sway an atheist in the least, which is to be expected. "God After Darwin" is thus clearly for those who want to find purpose and faith in their lives and in God in a world so profoundly influenced, for good and for bad, by Darwin.
I feel that Haught succeeds admirably in these very difficult tasks. I can only imagine his struggle to admit the truth of evolution and how to define a valid theology in concordance with it, instead of denying it. While reading this book the careful reader will sense the author's struggle, and if you agree with him, his victory!
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39 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Jedidiah Carosaari VINE VOICE on December 28, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a wondrous work, wherein Haught truly presents a theology of evolution. He doesn't show that evolution is consistent with the Bible- rather that the kind of God we read of in the Bible would *have* to create with evolution. And that modern materialistic philosophy can in no way answer for evolution- in fact, alone, Christianity is the belief system that most fits with evolutionary biology.

Haught uses a wealth of authors, some more well known than others, both biologists and theologians. He redeems process theology and shows how it fits with the Bible. He grapples with the best of Gould and presents a way that the magisterium of religion and science *should* mix, while still having their boundaries.

Every year I present evolution in my biology class, to students from Christian and Muslim backgrounds, and receive acrimony from administration, parents, and students alike. To try to assuage the hostility, I teach a day of philosophical approaches to evolution, to indicate that there are many ways to approach this controversial topic, and the students need to talk with their parents about what the best way is for them personally. This book is causing me to rewrite my class presentation of the philosophy of evolution. No longer will I break it up into Theistic, Deistic, and Atheistic approaches. Haught makes a very convincing case for three approaches of Opposition, Separatism, and Engagement. Ironically, the materialistic atheists and the literal creationists are both in the same camp of opposition. Separatism is the belief that both science and religion teach different sides of the same coin- something I have found myself on in the past. But I have long wanted to move more towards Engagement- looking at how evolution would influence the idea of God.
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