Original Research - Special Collection: Goshen Lectures

Lecture One: Rediscovering Darwin for theology – Rethinking human personhood

J. Wentzel van Huyssteen
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 73, No 3 | a4485 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v73i3.4485 | © 2017 J. Wentzel van Huyssteen | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 09 December 2016 | Published: 30 November 2017

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J. Wentzel van Huyssteen, Princeton Theological Seminary, United States and Faculty of Theology, Stellenbosch University, South Africa

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In a series of three articles, presented at the Goshen Annual Conference on Science and Religion in 2015, with the theme ‘Interdisciplinary Theology and the Archeology of Personhood’, J. Wentzel van Huyssteen considers the problem of human evolution – also referred to as ‘the archaeology of personhood’ – and its broader impact on theological anthropology. These Goshen Lectures explore the potentiality that the history of human evolution provides bridge theories to theological anthropology and thus to a positive and constructive way of appropriating Darwinian thought for a public, interdisciplinary Christian theology. Lecture One tracks a select number of contemporary proposals for the evolution of aspects of human personhood. These aspects were of significance for Darwin: the evolution of cognition; the evolution of imagination, music and language; the evolution of morality; and the evolution of the religious disposition. The article acknowledges the close ties to hominid ancestors and focuses on the emergence of human distinctiveness, consciousness and personhood, and the propensity for religious awareness and experience.


Goshen Annual Conference on Science and Religion; human evolution; theological anthropology; cognitive science of religion; morality; empathy; attachment


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Crossref Citations

1. Memory, embodiment, ethics: In conversation with Wentzel van Huyssteen’s work on theological anthropology
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