Written by Archbishop Jozef Zycinski of Lublin, this book offers an important and insightful examination of the basic philosophical questions involved in the relation between evolutionary theory and the Christian religion. It is made more valuable by its serious study of Pope John Paul II's message about evolution issued in 1996. The book begins with a discussion of the biological and metaphysical aspects of Darwin's own conception of evolution. It goes on to reject two versions of fundamentalism - the Christian anti-evolutionism of authors such as Phillip Johnson and the anti-Christian scientism of authors such as Richard Dawkins - and to explore the possibility of a dialogue between evolution and Christian thought from the perspective of Pope John Paul II. Next, Zycinski calls into question the classical opposition between the teleological and the causal interpretation of evolutionary processes. He attempts to overcome that opposition by reliance on the concepts of supervenience and an evolutionary attractor. In this way, he proposes a new approach in which teleological anthropomorphisms as well as reductionist metaphors are avoided. The author then presents a theology of nature in which particular attention is given to the immanence of God and to Divine kesis. Finally, the book offers a theological anthropology, including chapters on the harmonization of paleontology and theological anthropology, the limits of sociobiology, and original sin in relation to scientific kwledge of the human person.
Jozef Zycinski is Archbishop of Lublin, Poland. Kenneth W. Kemp is associate professor of philosophy at the University of St. Thomas. Zuzanna Maslanka is a graduate student at the Catholic University of Lublin.