Piotr Bylica

How Special Are We? The Perspectives of Traditional and Naturalistic Theism (2018)


Przedruk z: Dirk Evers, Michael Fuller, Anne Runehov, Knut-Willy Saether (eds.), Are We Special?, Studies in Science & Theology, Vol. 16, ESSSAT, Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg, Halle 2018, s. 95-115.


The paper compares statements made within classical (traditional) and naturalistic theism (NT)relating to the special character of human beings. According to the traditional view, the special character of humans was expressed in the following concepts: 1) the creation of humans by distinct act of God that differentiates His creation of our species from the creation of other species; 2) a dualistic vision of humans as consisting of material body and immaterial soul making humans rational and free agents and distinguishing them from other creatures; 3) humans, unlike other species, are created in the image of God; 4) there exists a special dignity of humans which is not present in other species; 5) domination of humans over other creatures is intended by God. In order to harmoniously combine science and religion, naturalistic theists adopt the following concepts: 1) creation of humans by general non-interventionist action of God; 2) a monistic vision of human beings; 3) all species as created in the image of God; 4) an inherent dignity characterizing also other species; 5) the domination of humans over other creatures is illegitimate. In this way, NT revises the anthropocentric and supernatural elements of the traditional Christian theism and endorses ecological and anti-anthropocentric currents in contemporary culture.

Keywords: science and religion, naturalistic theism, ecology, ecologism, classical theism, supernatural.

Published on webpage: 27 June 2020.



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