God, Evolution, and Animal Suffering: Theodicy without a Fall

God, Evolution, and Animal Suffering: Theodicy without a Fall

by Bethany N. Sollereder


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After the publication of On the Origin of Species in 1859, theologians were faced with the dilemma of God creating through evolution. Suddenly, pain, suffering, untimely death and extinction appeared to be the very tools of creation, and not a result of the sin of humanity. Despite this paradigm shift, the question of non-human suffering has been largely overlooked within theodicy debates, overwhelmed by the extreme human suffering of the twentieth century. This book redresses this imbalance by offering a rigorous academic treatment of the questions surrounding God and the suffering of non-human animals.

Combining theological, philosophical, and biblical perspectives, this book explores the relationship between God and Creation within Christian theology. First it dismantles the popular theological view that roots violence and suffering in the animal kingdom in the fall of humanity. Then, through an exploration of the nature of love, it affirms that there are multiple reasons to suggest that God and creation can both be "good", even with the presence of violence and suffering.

This is an innovative exploration of an under-examined subject that encompasses issues of theology, science, morality and human-animal interactions. As such, it will be of keen interest to scholars and academics of religion and science, the philosophy of religion, theodicy, and biblical studies.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780367583835
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Publication date: 07/02/2020
Pages: 216
Product dimensions: 6.25(w) x 9.25(h) x (d)

About the Author

Bethany N. Sollereder is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Oxford, UK in the Faculty of Theology and Religion. She is a fellow of the International Society for Science and Religion and of the Royal Society of Arts. She has written for a number of journals and magazines, including Zygon, Theology & Science, and The Christian Century and she is a regular contributor to the BioLogos website.

Table of Contents

1 Leaving the Courtroom

2 The Bible and The Fall

3 Joining the Conversation

4 Creation, Freedom, and Love

5 Special Divine Action

6 Redemption

7 Conclusion

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