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Reading Genesis after Darwin$
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Stephen C. Barton and David Wilkinson

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195383355

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195383355.001.0001

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All God’s Creatures

All God’s Creatures

Reading Genesis on Human and Nonhuman Animals

Chapter:
(p.145) 9 All God’s Creatures
Source:
Reading Genesis after Darwin
Author(s):

David Clough

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195383355.003.0009

This chapter examines what the text of Genesis means for the discernment of continuities and discontinuities between human beings and other animals. It argues that, in the light of post-Darwinian understandings of evolution, human-separatist positions that establish a qualitative theological distinction between human and nonhuman animals on the grounds of Genesis texts are untenable. Because no satisfactory human-separatist theological account can be given, differences between human beings and other creatures must be understood theologically as differences in degree rather than kind. The chapter concludes that to absolutize the distinction between human and nonhuman creation is unnecessary, leads to incoherence in systematic theology, and is ethically perilous.

Keywords:   Genesis, theology, animals, evolution, Darwin

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