Genesis, Evolution...

Cover_GESRFGenesis, Evolution, and the Search for a Reasoned Faith
Mary Kate Birge, Brian G. Henning, Ryan Taylor, and Rodica Stoicoiu
(Anselm Academic 2011)

Book Description
    Collaborators Mary Katherine Birge, Rodica Stoicoiu, Ryan Taylor, and Brian Henning explore in four illuminating chapters the rich and complex history of the biblical creation accounts, the nature of science investigation, the ethical and philosophical significance of the theory of evolution, and the all-enveloping role of evolutionary theory in the deepening and broadening of faith. In the process, the authors expand readers’ understanding of the compatibility between religion and science. Readers will learn that they need not choose religion over science or faith over reason, and that evolution does not threaten but rather enriches faith.

    The authors make it clear to readers that regardless of what religious or non-religious background they come from—regardless of their religious knowledge and experiences—they can discover that science and religion are not enemies, but are companions in the search for truth. The fresh and fascinating Genesis, Evolution and the Search for a Reasoned Faith explores both the nature of science and religion and the intelligent and intimate conversation that is necessary in the search for truth.

From the Back Cover

"Between scientism and religious fundamentalism lie many more-thoughtful options. Four of them, developed from the perspective of four disciplines, are attractively offered in this book. The book makes it abundantly clear that there is no reason for opposition between science and faith. It successfully stimulates serious thought about the real, and complex, issue of how best to relate them."

    John B. Cobb Jr.
    professor emeritus
    Claremont School of Theology
    Author of Back to Darwin: A Richer Account of Evolution

"The issues surrounding science and theology are multifaceted. Most books dealing with these issues provide one point of view. This book does it right! Four authors deal separately with the biblical accounts of creation, evolutionary theory, philosophical influences on evolutionary thought, and finally, a positive transcendence of the false dichotomies with an exciting conclusion: “. . . reality is a grand journey, and God is the ultimate adventurer.” It is a brilliant resolution to a difficult issue."

    Roger S. Fouts, PhD
    Dean, Graduate Studies and Research
    Professor of Psychology
    Central Washington University
    Author of Next of Kin: My Conversations with Chimpanzees


"Reading Genesis, Evolution, and the Search for a Reasoned Faith is a mind-opening exercise; thus, the volume has intrinsic intellectual value as an academic and enlightening tool." 
Joseph A. Grzybowski, College of Mathematics and Science, University of Central Oklahoma, Journal of Chemical Education, February 2013

"The authors achieve their goal well. This book provides a very useful starting point for an undergraduate religion and science course, leaving openings for many supplementary readings." Michael Horace Barnes, University of Dayton, Horizons Fall 2012

"Chapter 3 by Brian Henning, “From Exception to Exemplification: Understanding the Debate over Darwin,” is a delightfully written recap of the course of philosophical thinking related to nature and its history. Henning shows that philosophies have been barriers and encumbrances to evolutionary thinking at least as much as religious opposition. His contribution provides a series of portals for serious dialogue between science and religion as many scientists are sadly unaware of the philosophical structures within which they work. He shows, for example, how Cartesian dogma has promoted human exclusivism at least as profoundly as the demands of creationists for a privileged human position in the world. Cartesian dualism promoted the idea that all life forms were machines, except for human life—we might very well say “only some human life.” To Henning’s everlasting credit, he shows how field studies and language studies in chimpanzees have destroyed the viability of Cartesian dualism for anyone who pays attention. … [D]o get your hands on Henning’s Chapter 3, a great read."

Zygon 48.1 (2013): 230-231.
Paul G. Heltne
Director, The Ethopoiesis Project
President Emeritus of the Chicago Academy of the Sciences

Genesis, Evolution, and the Search for a Reasoned Faith offers a helpful response to the urgent need, noted above, to assist our students in understanding how it is possible to integrate science and faith in a way responsible to the legitimate claims that both have on contemporary believers. Christian faith at its best honors the God-given gift of human reason and the call to understand this world both on its own terms and as the marvelous creation of a loving God. ... They demonstrate that positive dialogue among disciplines can ground a more comprehensive synthesis that actually yields a deeper appreciation of the world and of what God is doing in it. ...This is a valuable book for college theology courses: as the introduction states, it is a “joint attempt to model the sort of discussion [our] students deserve to hear” (x). It is written specifically for discussion, with questions, a glossary, and resources for further study at the end of each chapter.
Catholic Books Review
Jane E. LINAHAN, St. Bonaventure University

Table of Contents

    1. Genesis
    Mary Katherine Birge, SSJ

    2. Scientific Knowledge and Evolutionary Biology
    Ryan Taylor

    3. From Exception to Exemplification: Understanding the Debate over Darwin
    Brian G. Henning

    4. Theology in the Context of Evolution
    Rodica M. M. Stoicoiu

    Reading Reality: A Conclusion