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Making Sense of Evolution: Darwin, God, and the Drama of Life Paperback – February 16, 2010
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"John Haught is not simply one of the best theologians of our time; he. . .is a prophet. Any serious thinker will find in his book a rich banquet of thought, a depth of insight and a God who belongs to evolution."
--Ilia Delio, O.S.F, America, March 15, 2010
"Making Sense of Evolution will appeal to anybody with an interest in the roles of science and religion in the modern world. Just as Haught argues that Darwin simultaneously challenges and enriches theology, HaughtÂ’s book challenges and enriches the contemporary discourse between science and religion."
--Kenrick Vezina, ForeWord Reviews, March/April 2010
"Ours is an age dominated by 'nothing but' treatments. Religious conservatives and atheist biologists alike engage in a war-to-the-death between evolution and creation. How refreshing, then, to read this brilliant 'both and' synthesis by one of America's leading experts in the field. Authoritative yet immensely readable, this volume offers a powerful vision of a God big enough to encompass the adventure of evolution, contingency, suffering, and randomness. Somehow, one feels, when the dust of battle settles, something like John Haught's rich description of 'infinite and inexhaustible depth' will remain standing." Philip Clayton, Ingraham Professor, Claremont School of Theology and Claremont Graduate University and author of In Quest of Freedom: The Emergence of Spirit in the Natural World.
"By taking Darwin's and neo-Darwinians' work seriously, Haught satisfyingly shows how Christians can and should be both rigorous scientists and faithful believers." Terrence W. Tilley, Professor of Theology and Chair of the Department, Ford-ham University, Bronx NY
About the Author
John F. Haught is Senior Fellow in Science and Religion at the Woodstock Theological Center at Georgetown University in Washington, D. C. One of the world's leading thinkers in the field of theology and science, Haught was Chair and Professor in the Department of Theology at Georgetown from 1970 to 2005. An international lecturer and prolific author, his books include Christianity and Science, God After Darwin: A Theology of Evolution, and the prize-winning Deeper than Darwin: The Prospects for Religion in the Age of Evolution.
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Finding great books is all about following footnotes and taking note of advertised books. Yesterday, I received and devoured in a couple of long gulps, Peter Sis's book, The Tree of Life (on Charles Darwin). I've placed it on a visible table. Two grandchildren are visiting from D.C. over the weekend. Wouldn't it be absolutely lovely if one of them (twins of age 14) picked it up and were intrigued enough to say, "Grandma, this is so cool"?!? I can only hope!
I do give Dr. Haught 5 stars for the chapters on Duty and Devotion, so the book is worth reading just for those thoughts. Dr. Haught simply shreds Darwinian thinking to pieces, as he should. Why he shied away from doing the same in the rest of the book is a mystery to me.
Haught does not challenge evolutionary science, only evolutionary naturalism. He argues that Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett and Jerry Coyne get it wrong when they go beyond the science of evolution and try to extrapolate to theology.
He urges the reader to think in terms of layered explanations (explanatory layers), i.e., both/and instead of either/or: different levels of explanation as simultaneously operative without ruling one another out. He suggests that we allow for divine creativity at a more fundamental layer of explanation than that at which natural science operates. Scientific and theological explanations can both be accepted without being rivals. Science and theology have different roles.
Haught's book is basically a treatment of the questions that biological evolution raises for Christian faith and theology. I recommend it to anyone interested in "making sense of evolution."