April 2015
volume 27 (1)

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Keith Fox
Pages: 2-2


Conflict or mutual enrichment? Why science and theology need to talk to each other

Pages: 3-16


Understanding the causes of same-sex attraction

Eleanor Whiteway Denis R. Alexander
Pages: 17-40


The aim of this paper is to review the current academic literature on the aetiology of same-sex attraction, with a particular focus on its biological causes. Environmental, biological and choice-based aetiologies are discussed, and the empirical evidence for each position is considered. We conclude that, while some aetiologies are better supported than others, no putative cause of same-sex attraction has a sufficient empirical basis to demonstrate its causal role in same-sex attraction. Furthermore, no single cause can explain the variety of forms of same-sex attraction across different genders and cultures. We suggest that same-sex attraction is likely to be caused by a complex interplay of factors, both biological and environmental, and that causal pathways are unique to the individual.

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Resurrection and the natural sciences: some theological insights on sanctification and disability

Pages: 41-58


I will explore the Christian concept of resurrection from a biblical perspective arguing that it is physical and found in the context of new creation. These two results are crucial for maintaining compatibility with the natural sciences, for neuroscience emphasises the importance of physicality for identity and cosmology stresses the necessary transformation of the universe if, ultimately, life is to survive. By placing these ideas in dialogue, the importance of the eschatological transformation of both pattern and matter can be seen. This in turn has theological consequences for understanding both how sanctification can be perfected in the resurrection and how disability can be understood in the resurrected life without personal identity being obscured.


Can we give up the origin of humanity from a primal couple without giving up the teaching of original sin and atonement?

Antoine Suarez
Pages: 59-83


Recent genetic studies have strengthened the hypothesis that humans did not originate from a single couple of the species Homo sapiens. Different models have been proposed to harmonise this with Christian belief on original sin and atonement. In this article I discuss these models and propose a new explanation derived from Thomas Aquinas Summa Theologica I, 98-100 and Romans 5:19;11:32. I argue that generations may have passed before the appearance of sin, and hence belief in ‘original sin’ does not require that it was committed by a pair of persons who are biologically the common ancestors of all human persons. In the light of this analysis I consider moral responsibility as the distinctive sign of human personhood, and assume that the creation of the first human persons happened during the Neolithic period. The article concludes that views of the biological origin of humanity from a primeval Homo sapiens population (polygenism) or a single couple (monogenism) are both compatible with Christian belief, and therefore deciding between these two hypotheses should be better left to science.

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Re-examining Tertullian and Augustine’s Relationship for the Theology Science Dialogue

Pages: 84-100


When the development of the relationship between Theology and Science is discussed, Tertullian and Augustine are typically used to represent diametrically opposed methodologies. One such recent example is Lindberg’s well-argued review of how scientific knowledge was addressed in the patristic period, which contrasts viewing science with suspicion (Tertullian) with the approach which sees it as a servant to theology (Augustine). This paper explores a largely unnoticed and unexamined dependency of Augustine in de Genesi ad Litteram on Tertullian’s de Anima. Augustine’s argument closely follows that of Tertullian, departing from the text of Genesis at the same places for the same topics as Tertullian. Noteworthy is that Augustine follows Tertullian at one point where Tertullian reverses his normal rhetoric to base his understanding of anthropology and in particular of the origin and nature of the soul upon contemporary scientia rather than his usual practice of beginning with Scripture. Rather than Tertullian and Augustine being exemplars of different approaches to the relationship of theology and science this examination of the close dependence of one theologian on the other and on then contemporary best scientific knowledge further demonstrates that the relationship is far more complicated and interdependent than often acknowledged.


Book reviews

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Darwin’s Doubt: The Explosive Origin of Animal Life and the Case for Intelligent Design

Stephen C. Meyer (Martin R. Smith)
Pages: 101-102

Living Lightly, Living Faithfully: Religious faiths and the future of sustainability

Colin Bell Jonathan Chaplin Robert White (Chris Naylor)
Pages: 102-103

Mind and Cosmos: Why the Materialist, Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature is Almost Certainly False

Thomas Nagel (Chris Oldfield)
Pages: 103-104

Better People or Enhanced Humans? What it might mean to be fully alive in the context of Human Enhancement

Justin Tomkins (D. Gareth Jones)
Pages: 105-106

Is Religion Natural?

D. Evers M. Fuller A. Jackelen T. Smedes (eds.) (James W. Jones)
Pages: 106-107

The Rocks Don’t Lie: A Geologist Investigates Noah’s Flood

David R. Montgomery (David Young)
Pages: 107-108

Four Views on the Historical Adam

Matthew Barrett Ardel B. Caneday (eds.) (John J. Bimson)
Pages: 108-111

The Evolution of Adam: What the Bible Does and Doesn’t Say About Human Origins

Peter Enns (John J. Bimson)
Pages: 108-111

Flourishing: Health, Disease and Bioethics in Theological Perspective

Neil Messer (John Bryant)
Pages: 111-112

Toward an Ecology of Transfiguration. Orthodox Christian Perspectives on Environment, Nature and Creation

John Chryssavgis Bruce V. Foltz (eds.) (Alexei Nesteruk)
Pages: 112-114

Ask the Beasts: Darwin and the God of Love

Elizabeth A. Johnson (Christopher Southgate)
Pages: 114-116

Who is to blame? – Disasters, Nature, and Acts of God

Robert S. White (Tim Middleton)
Pages: 116-117

God’s Trees: Trees, Forests and Wood in the Bible, An Illustrated Commentary and Compendium

Julian Evans (Rebecca Watson)
Pages: 118-119

As Long As The Earth Endures: The Bible, Creation and the Environment

Jonathan Moo Robin Routledge (eds.) (Ron Elsdon)
Pages: 119-121

Evolutionary Biology. Conceptual, Ethical, and Religious Issues

Paul Thompson Denis Walsh (eds.) (R. J. (Sam) Berry)
Pages: 121-122