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The Wisdom of the Liminal
Evolution and Other Animals in Human Becoming
PAPERBACK; Published: 9/9/2014
ISBN: 978-0-8028-6867-1
358 Pages
Trim Size, in inches: 6 x 9

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A sophisticated theological anthropology that takes into account evolutionary theories and our relationships to other animals

In this book Celia Deane-Drummond charts a new direction for theological anthropology in light of what is now known about the evolutionary trajectories of humans and other animals. She presents a case for human beings becoming fully themselves through their encounter with God, after the pattern of Christ, but also through their relationship with each other and with other animals.

Drawing on classical sources, particularly the work of Thomas Aquinas, Deane-Drummond explores various facets of humans and other animals in terms of reason, freedom, language, and community. In probing and questioning how human distinctiveness has been defined using philosophical tools, she engages with a range of scientific disciplines including evolutionary biology, biological anthropology, animal behavior, ethology, and cognitive psychology. The result is a novel, deeply nuanced interpretation of what it means to be distinctively human in the image of God.

Read more from the author of this book on Eerdword.
Catholic Press Association 2015 Book Award Honorable Mention in Faith and Science
"[A] closely argued and carefully researched book. . . . Impressive."
Philosophy, Theology, and the Sciences
“Its breadth and depth make Wisdom of the Liminal an important text that deserves wide attention. For anyone interested in theological anthropology, this book must be considered mandatory reading.”
J. Wentzel van Huyssteen
— Princeton Theological Seminary
"In this remarkably accomplished and mature work on theological anthropology, Celia Deane-Drummond displays her extraordinary gifts as an interdisciplinary theologian. . . . A wonderful book."
Denis Edwards
— Australian Catholic University
"A bold, pioneering, and creative work. . . . Deane-Drummond builds on both her brilliant, wide-ranging insights into recent science and her explorations into the depth of the Christian theological tradition."
Marc Bekoff
— University of Colorado
"Celia Deane-Drummond's work catalyzes my belief that peaceful coexistence among humans and nonhumans is possible. . . . This very important, forward-looking book deserves wide readership and can be a paradigm changer that will make a positive difference in human-animal relationships."
Church Times
"An intriguing and persuasive challenge to evolutionary theory enslaved to genetics as the be-all and end-all of human becoming. . . . The invitation towards `an eschatological goal that includes the transformation of other creatures as well as the transformation of humanity' is difficult to resist — especially for Anglicans situated somewhere between angels and animals."
Catholic Library World
"An extraordinarily well documented work, drawing from classical theology and philosophy as well as evolutionary biology, cognitive psychology, and animal behavior. . . . Deane-Drummond presents a new path for theological anthropology, one which embraces the blurring of the lines between humans and other animals. . . . This book will challenge theologians, philosophers, and scientists to envision a world where we no longer ignore each other, but engage in collaborative and creative dialogue."
Theological Studies
"As both biologist and theologian, [Deane-Drummond] seeks to develop an inclusive interpretation of theological anthropology that holds together both evolutionary interpretations of the human condition and the Christian conviction that Jesus in his life, death, and resurrection reveals what human beings are to become. . . . I highly recommend this book, especially for anyone interested in current debates about evolution and how evolutionary understanding interfaces with Christian theology."