Doing Without Adam and Eve: Sociobiology and Original Sin (Google eBook)

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Fortress Press - Religion - 227 pages
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In this provocative new addition to the Theology and the Sciences series, Patricia Williams assays the original sin doctrine with a scientific lens and, based on sociobiology, offers an alternative Christian account of human nature's foibles and future.

Focusing on the Genesis 2 and 3 account, Williams shows how its "historical" interpretation in early Christianity not only misread the text but derived an idea of being human profoundly at odds with experience and contemporary science. After gauging Christianity's several competing notions of human nature -- Protestant, Catholic, and Orthodox -- against contemporary biology, Williams turns to sociobiological accounts of the evolution of human dispositions toward reciprocity and limited cooperation as a source of human good and evil. From this vantage point she offers new interpretations of evil, sin, and the Christian doctrine of atonement.

Williams's work, frank in its assessment of traditional misunderstandings, challenges theologians and all Christians to reassess the roots and branches of this linchpin doctrine.

  

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Contents

Science Scripture and Doctrine
1
Science and Scripture
2
Central Scriptural Doctrines
4
Central Theological Doctrines
8
Controversial Doctrines
10
Tests of Truth
14
The Interpreter and Canalization
15
The Coherence Test
21
The Theory of Evolution
103
Coherence and Natural Selection
104
Correspondence and Speciation
108
Consilience and Human Evolution
115
Canalization and Resistance
122
The Sociobiological Consilience
124
The Evolution of Altruism
125
Altruisms Legacy
130

The Correspondence Test
23
The Consilience Test
29
The Fall
31
The Early Church
32
Harold Bloom
36
A Gnostic Christian
38
Augustine
40
Original Sin
48
Calvin and Protestantism
49
The Canalization of Evil
52
Aquinas and Catholicism
55
Athanasius and Orthodoxy
58
The Demise of Adam and Eve
63
Coherence and Genesis 13
64
Correspondence and Genesis 19
66
Consilience in Science
70
The Demise of Adam and Eve
78
Scripture and Truth
82
Coherence and the Torah
84
Symbolic Truth in Genesis 2 and 3
89
Correspondence and the Gospels
90
The Authority of Scripture
96
Reciprocity
134
Human Sociality
137
Original Sin and Sociobiology
142
Freedom
143
Sin
148
Love
152
Punishment
155
The Problem of Evil
159
Locating Ourselves
164
Locating Evil
168
Solving the Problem
176
The Atonement
180
Four Difficulties
181
Jesus and Sin
185
Suffering and Death
192
Atonement Now
196
Conclusion
199
Glossary
203
References
209
Index
220
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