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Christology, Evolution, and Cultural Change

Joel C. Daniels

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Like many other areas of religious doctrine, Christology was significantly affected by the arrival of Darwinian evolutionary theory in the nineteenth century. This essay traces the history of the christological integration of biological evolution, investigating how theologians have integrated Darwinism into their understanding of the incarnation of Christ. Beginning with British theologians of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the essay describes the “evolutionary Christology” of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Karl Rahner, Gerd Theissen, and Arthur Peacocke, as well as more recent offerings by Celia Deane-Drummond and F. LeRon Shults. This overview illustrates the historically contingent nature of the theological enterprise, as culture and theology continue to inform and influence each other.

 
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