I am about to head off to a conference at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Chicago called “Re-Imagining the Intersection of Evolution and the Fall,” to present a paper on Genesis 3 in light of evolution. This three-day conference (March 26-28, 2015) grows out of a research group I’ve been a part of for the past two years that has been tasked with addressing how orthodox Christians may think about the origin of human evil (the “Fall”) in the context of what we know about the evolution of humans on this planet.
The group has two biblical scholars (myself included), along with scholars specializing in theology, philosophy, biology, ethics, and history. Many of the scholars have expertise in more than one discipline, and many have previously written on this topic.
Here is the lineup of the research team, in alphabetical order, along with their disciplinary specializations:
- William Cavanaugh (theology, political theory)
- Celia Deane-Drummond (theology, biology)
- Darrel Falk (biology)
- Joel Green (New Testament, theology, neuroscience)
- Peter Harrison (history of science)
- J. Richard Middleton (Old Testament, theology)
- Aaron Riches (theology)
- James K.A. Smith (philosophy, theology)
- Brent Waters (theology, social ethics)
- Norman Wirzba (theology, environmental ethics)
Here is a list of the bios for each person on the team.
Each of us will be presenting our findings in plenary sessions at the conference. You can access the conference schedule here and you can read a brief summary of the content our our presentations here.
A more detailed summary of my own paper can be found here.
Beyond the plenary presentations, there will be multiple sessions of concurrent presentations by other scholars (twenty-two in all); some of these look very interesting. I even know some of these presenters; one of them is Matthew Hill, who has been an adjunct professor at Roberts Wesleyan College and now teaches philosophy at Ann Arbor University. A book based on his dissertation, called Evolution and Holiness, will be published by InterVarsity Press next year.
The papers from the conference (both the plenaries and possibly some of the concurrent papers) will be collected in a volume published by Eerdmans, scheduled to appear sometime in 2016. The volume will be edited by William Cavanaugh and James K. A. Smith, who are the co-chairs of the research team.
I’ll post some reflections about the conference when I get back.