Det förlorade paradiset. Teodicé efter Darwin

  • Eva-Lotta Grantén


Charles Darwin was ambivalent towards the theological consequences of accepting evolution as the explanationof the origin and variety of species. He felt admiration in relation to creation’s diversity but also felt doubts of God’s design and beneficence in relation to nature’s cruelty.

No “fall” from paradise has occurred in evolutionary history which means that theology must find new lines of arguments when discussing the suffering and extinction of organisms. Modern theology has reacted to the theodicy of nature by arguing that God had no other choice but evolution, with the inevitable suffering and death, if God wanted to create complexity and diversity.

Rolston and Williams argue that God’s providence results in more good than harm in nature, at an overall and developmental level. Russell points to such arguments from creation theology as not sufficient when assessing the problem of entropy and death as inherent in the universe, resulting in the suffering of organisms. Southgate postulates an eschatological hope for individual organisms, recognising that the greater good must lie outside creation. Murphy stresses God’s radical participation in evolution as a co-sufferer. Darwin’s theory has thus led to a development of both creation and redemption theology.