Ask the Beasts: Darwin and the God of Love

Elizabeth A. Johnson, Author
Elizabeth A. Johnson. Bloomsbury/Continuum, $32.95 (352p) ISBN 978-1-4729-0373-0
Reviewed on: 03/03/2014
Release date: 03/01/2014
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When Charles Darwin published On the Origin of Species in 1859, he essentially declared an end to our lack of curiosity about human beginnings and the natural evolution of the material world. He was considered an unbeliever and a hell-bound heretic. But as time has passed, students of science and religion have come to acknowledge that Darwin was neither, spurring an energetic defense of Darwin's fundamental premise and its trajectories into our world. In this brilliantly written volume, Johnson (Quest for the Living God), a professor of theology at Fordham University, seamlessly integrates Darwin's understanding with a deeply held belief in a God who enters the world of matter, bringing to life a "community of creation"—an ever-creating God expressing god-self in life's infinite varieties. Key to understanding Johnson's thesis is the ability to look beyond the literalness of scripture to see the harmonious whole of the created order. "We evolved relationally; we exist symbiotically; our existence depends on interaction with the rest of the natural world," Johnson writes. Engrossing and wonderfully realized, this is a book to be read and loved. (Mar.)
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