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The Disguised Friend of Faith?

Arthur Peacocke (1924–2006)

Arthur Peacocke, eminent priest-scientist, has collected thirteen of his essays for this volume. Previously published in various academic journals and edited books, the provocative essays expand upon the theme of the evolution of nature, humanity, and belief. They are grouped in three parts:

  • Natural Evolution, covering topics ranging from the implications of deterministic chaos; biological evolution and Christian theology; chance, potentiality, and God; and complexity, emergence, and divine creativity.
  • Humanity Evolving in the Presence of God, articulating God’s presence in and to the world as it is unveiled by the sciences; the chrysalis of the human; the nature and purpose of man in science and Christian theology.
  • Theological Evolution—the Re-shaping of Belief, dealing with science and the future of theology; public truth in religion; the incarnation of the self-expressive word of God; DNA; and the challenges and possibilities of western theism.

In the epilogue, Dr. Peacocke discusses wisdom in science and education, referring to Robert Grosseteste, a medieval scientist-theologian.

Preface / vii

A Note on the Language / xi

Part 1. Natural Evolution

1. God’s Interaction with the World: The Implications of Deterministic “Chaos” and Models from “Whole-part” Constraints and Personal Agency / 3

2. Biological Evolution and Christian Theology— Yesterday and Today / 22

3. Chance, Potentiality, and God / 50

4. Complexity, Emergence, and Divine Creativity / 65

Part 2. Humanity Evolving in the Presence of God

5. Articulating God’s Presence In and To the World Unveiled by the Sciences / 87

6. Natural Being and Becoming: The Chrysalis of the Human / 110

7. The Nature and Purpose of Man in Science and Christian Theology / 131

Part 3.Theological Evolution—The Reshaping of Belief

8. Science and the Future of Theology: Critical Issues / 159

9. Public Truth in Religion / 186

10. The Incarnation of the Informing Self-Expressive Word of God / 197

11. DNA of Our DNA / 221

12. The Challenges and Possibilities of Western Theism—Christianity / 229


13. Wisdom in Science and Education—and Robert Grosseteste, a Medieval Scientist-Theologian and Educator / 245

Notes / 259

Index / 279