Toward a Realist Doctrine of Creation
1 Scripture and Tradition
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Scripture and Tradition
The purpose of the present chapter is to describe the theoretical background of mainstream Christian theology in 1859 regarding the issue of natural evil. Natural evil has classically been understood as the suffering that is not a result of a direct moral fault, but is suffered as a result of the state of the physical world being as it is. Religious responses to the problem of suffering can be seen throughout much religious literature, globally. Max Weber identified the problem of suffering as one of the motivating factors of the advent of the phenomenon of religion in all human societies, and posited that answers to that problem are a significant contribution to the specific traits of individual religions.1 Even if his interpretation reflects a passé religious perennialism, it is nonetheless undoubtedly true that reflections on suffering are a constituent part of many religious traditions. The present book will only trace the history of responses in the Western Christian tradition as a matter of expediency, since the goal is to describe the intellectual climate in which Darwin’s work was received. Many, though not all, of the theological and philosophical responses to Darwinism were in cultures for which this heritage was the prevailing ethos. ← 1 | 2 → 2
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