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Reshaping natural theology: seeing nature as creation
Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
2012 (English)Book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Is nature creation or merely the product of non-intentional, natural processes? Mats Wahlberg argues that our perceptual experiences of nature can settle this question in favor of creation. He suggests that biological nature has expressive properties of a kind similar to human behavior and art. We may therefore be able to perceive – directly – nature as creation, i.e. as expressive of the mind of a creator. This idea resonates with the traditional Christian claim that God’s invisible nature can be ‘clearly perceived in the things that have been made’ (Rom 1:20). Wahlberg’s interpretation of this claim contradicts the common view that the existence of a creator must be established by inferential argument.   

The book’s thesis is compatible with the fact that biological organisms have evolved by natural selection. Its viability depends, however, on the rejection of certain common assumptions about the nature of mind and perception – assumptions that may properly be called ‘Cartesian’. The author presents and defends an anti-Cartesian stance on mind and perception, inspired mainly by the work of the philosopher John McDowell. The philosophical resources provided by this stance are then drawn on to defend the book’s version of natural theology.       

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Houndmills, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012, 1. , 260 p.
Keyword [en]
Natural theology, creation, knowledge of God, philosophy of mind, philosophy of perception, John McDowell, epistemological disjunctivism, disjunctive theory of perception, problem of other minds, expression, intention, rationality, theistic evolution, postliberal theology, postsecular theology
National Category
Religious Studies
Research subject
Philosophy of Religion
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-59188DOI: 10.1057/9780230393141ISBN: 978-0-230-39313-4OAI: diva2:551469
Available from: 2012-09-11 Created: 2012-09-11 Last updated: 2016-03-31Bibliographically approved

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