In the beginning God : an examination of the relevance of Genesis chapter 1 within the context of contemporary worship and in the light of neo-Darwinian thought and modern scientific and technological achievement
This thesis attempts a positive evaluation of Genesis 1 as a "living cosmology" in our modern age of science and technology. The challenge science poses for traditional religion is identified as functional and philosophical, with the major focus being Neo-Darwinism. Issues raised which are problematic for any doctrine of creation include the explanatory power of Darwinian theory, questions concerning design and morality in relation to natural selection, and the relativisation of the importance and significance of Homo Sapiens. After an examination of the nature of creation faith in the Hebrew Bible and a review of the literary and theological issues in contemporary hermeneutics, Genesis 1 is placed in an exilic context and its original meaning and significance is assessed. In the light of this, and through the appropriation of "reader-criticism", it is argued that Genesis 1 can still be, justifiably, utilised today as a meaningful "literary-theological" response to the question of origins, with many of its features allowing for fruitful correspondence with the details of evolutionary history.