Authors
Patrick McDonald
Seattle Pacific University
Abstract
While it was not a main focus of his work, Ernan McMullin contributed to reflection on being human in the context of human evolutionary history. His work developed multiple strands for the formation of a systematic Christian evolutionary theism regarding human beings. The first theme concerns St. Augustine’sexplorations of “seed-like” principles in developing the idea that God brought forth humans in part through a natural process. Secondly, the paper discussesMcMullin’s response to the claim that evolutionary theory suggests humans to be the result of radical contingency, calling into question the Providential natureof human evolution. McMullin invokes Augustinian sensibilities about God’s eternality in his reply. Next, Fr. Ernan reflected on the concept of matter and howit can inform a response to dualistic conceptions of human being. Finally, in a characteristically even-handed tone, he defended emergentism as a viable optionto dualism, recognizing there to be serious philosophical and theological concerns about the emergentist picture. While McMullin did not solve the problems thatchallenge a synthesis of evolutionary theory and Christian anthropology, he offered a number of very helpful clues
Keywords Catholic Tradition  Contemporary Philosophy  History of Philosophy  Philosophy and Religion
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ISBN(s) 1051-3558
DOI 10.5840/acpq201286226
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