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Is Humanity Uniquely Created by God? Jan-Olav Henriksen.

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Presentation on theme: "Is Humanity Uniquely Created by God? Jan-Olav Henriksen."— Presentation transcript:

1 Is Humanity Uniquely Created by God? Jan-Olav Henriksen

2 Evolution and Human Nature at CTI  Theologians, Scientists, Philosophers  Why at CTI? => The interdisciplinary Focus  What do scientists and theologians have in common? We want to understand religion  Religion as part of human nature  Religion as a common topic – approached from different scholarly disciplines  Evolution as providing the conditions for understanding (the impact and importance of) religion  Note: distinction between the conditions for religion and the contents of religion

3 What is religion?  Relgion is more than doctrine (and belief)  Religion as practice (prayer, worship, meals, clothing, etc.  Religion as embodied – and as ritual  Ritual as prior to language (early symbols)  Religion as emerged and evolved  Religion as part of what makes human human  Religion as conditioned by human symbolic capacities – but also more than these.

4 Theology  Theology as critical and constructive reflection on the existing contents and functions of religion  Theology in need of being informed by other approaches if we are to make constructive suggestions about how to articulate Christian faith in the contemporary world. Why? Avoid compartmentalization of faith and reason  Common for all at CTI: Criticism of the neo-Darwinian rejection of the possibility for warranted belief, as well as of creationism as the rejection of scientific data about human evolution.  Theology does not explore the empirical world. Theology interprets the human experience of the world by means of its normative sources in Scripture and Tradition. Conflict between theology and science will accordingly always be over the interpretation of “data” – if any.  Theology as insisting on how religion is rooted in a reality that is more than “the natural” conditions for being human

5 The problem  Who can create? – Only God is creator  What does it mean to be created?  Humans as co-creators?  Creativity as agency, intervention or what? (in, with and under the natural processes )  Creation: of more than the «natural world»

6 The theological side  Humans as creatures  Creation as ongoing  Creation as good – and as corrupted: the theological scene  Humans as intertwined with the work of the trinitartian God, in God’s work for creation, redemption and renewal, and fulfilment  Nature and grace

7 The empirical (scientific) side  Humanity as evolved  Natural Selection  Anthropic principle(s)?  Interaction and sociality  Community niche  Language, symbols  Reciprocity:environment as shaping, and shaped by, humanty  => Humans as making themselves and their worlds

8 To relate to God: Realms of Experience and their religious relevance  The natural world  The social and cultural world  The Inner world  A «spiritual» world?  The symbolic powers of humanity: shaping the world differently: Sacraments as example

9 God and Creation  God is not a thing – not an empirical entity  God is infinite – Creation finite  Humans become what they are by relating to God – in all realms of life and experience  The only thing we can investigate scientifically, is the effects of God’s work  => we are all in process, all underway

10 We are uniquely created by God -In the sense that only God is creator -We are not the only ones who are created -The whole of the process of the world must be seen as an expression of God’s creative work -It also means that all that is, is included in God’s process of creation, redemption, and fulfillment -Humans are distinct (different, unique) compared to other living beings, but must also be seen as having evolved from and being in continuation with other living beings

11 A creature in the image of God -Witness – in passivity as well as activity: Of God’s love, care, justice, generosity and abundance -Differentiation – know who you are (Socrates) and diversity -Recognition -Relation -Being finite -Believe in God’s Word about humanity: Created in the image of God and given a destiny that is revealed in the life and work of Jesus Christ – and the practical consequences of this -Other Species as images of God?

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