Alone in the World?

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Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, Apr 12, 2006 - Religion - 347 pages

In Alone in the World? J. Wentzel van Huyssteen develops further his earlier proposal for interdisciplinary dialogue set out in The Shaping of Rationality, and applies this methodology to the uncharted waters between theological anthropology and paleoanthropology.

First delivered as the 2004 Gifford Lectures at the University of Edinburgh van Huyssteen here argues that scientific notions of human uniqueness may actually help us to ground theological notions of human distinctiveness in flesh-and-blood, real-life, embodied experiences and protect theological reflection from abstractions when trying to rethink the image of God. Van Huyssteen focuses on the interdisciplinary problem of human origins and human distinctiveness and finds a unique access point to the origin of the remarkable human mind in the spectacular prehistoric cave paintings of Western Europe. Fifteen of the most important paintings are reproduced in this book, and van Huyssteen explores the theological relevance and deeper religious meaning of a number of them.

Connecting two widely separated fields through careful interdisciplinary reflection, Alone in the World? will encourage sustained investigation into the question of human uniqueness.

 

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Contents

Human Uniqueness as an Interdisciplinary Problem?
15
Interdisciplinarity in Theology and Science
17
Tradition and Communicative Understanding
17
Interdisciplinarity and Human Uniqueness
17
Conclusion
17
Human Uniqueness and Cognitive Evolution
17
Human Distinctiveness in Paleontology
17
A Human Uniqueness as a Moral Issue
17
Human Uniqueness and Paleoanthropology
85
Imagination and Prehistoric Art
85
Human Imagination and Religious Awareness
85
Conclusion
85
Human Uniqueness and Symbolization
85
Human Uniqueness and the Symbolic Mind
85
A Handprints in the Deep Caves Plates 1and 2
85
B The Ithyphallic Bird Man from the Shaft in Lascaux Plate 11
85

B Human Uniqueness and Hominid Evolution
17
Charles Darwin on Human Uniqueness
17
Evolutionary Epistemology and Human Uniqueness
17
A Evolutionary Epistemology as Embodied Epistemology
17
B Evolutionary Epistemology and Religion
17
Conclusion
17
Human Uniqueness and the Image of God
27
Human Uniqueness and the History of the Imago Dei
37
Contemporary Interpretations of the Imago Dei
69
The Imago Dei as Embodied Self
85
Conclusion
85
Human Uniqueness and Human Origins
85
C The Wounded Men from Cougnac and PechMerle Plates 3 and 4
85
Human Uniqueness and Religious Imagination
85
Conclusion
85
Human Uniqueness in Science and Theology
85
Human Uniqueness and Embodiment
85
Human Uniqueness in the Jewish Tradition
85
Human Uniqueness and the Limits of Interdisciplinarity
85
Conclusion
97
Bibliography
Index
Copyright

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About the author (2006)

J. Wentzel van Huyssteen is the James I. McCord Professor Emeritus of Theology and Science at Princeton Theological Seminary and in 2003 became the first South African and the first Princeton Seminary professor to deliver the prestigious Gifford Lectures.