Theological Panpsychism and the Doctrine of Creation
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Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Number of Pages: 216
Width: 15.6 cm
Height: 23.4 cm
Are humans the only creatures that can appreciate God’s creation? What if consciousness is spread more widely across all things? This volume examines panpsychism through the lens of Christian doctrine. Minding Creation is the first substantial examination of what a panpsychist theory of consciousness implies for key theological debates concerning God’s presence and action, evolution and the origin of the soul, human uniqueness and the environmental crisis. Joanna Leidenhag develops a theological panpsychism that is based on an exceptionally wide range of scholarship. Minding Creation draws on the theologies of historical figures such as Augustine of Hippo, Gottfried von Leibniz and others, in order to create a critical and constructive conversation with contemporary analytic philosophers of mind, such as Thomas Nagel, Galen Strawson, and David J. Chalmers. Leidenhag also discusses key concepts and issues, such as emergence theory, divine action, and ecology. She concludes that God created a universe from nothing which is filled with indwelling powers, sacramental value, and intrinsic experience. This is a creation in which the Holy Spirit is internally present at every point, a creation that worships God, and a creation that human beings must protect and lead in praise.
Rigorously argued, philosophically astute, and theologically constructive, Joanna Leidenhag's monograph will generate intense debate on the theological potential of recent developments in panpsychist philosophy. In enabling us to consider its plausibility vis-a-vis the default position of emergentism, she has produced a work of originality and significance. -- David Fergusson, Professor of Divinity, University of Edinburgh, UK This is the best book-length treatment of panpsychism in relation to Christian theology in print. Joanna Leidenhag has produced an outstanding systematic study to this new area of philosophical and theological inquiry. -- Charles Taliaferro, Overby Distinguished Chair and Professor of Philosophy, St. Olaf College, USA Panpsychism is a novel theory of consciousness which has attracted much attention in recent years, yet very few have considered the theological implications of this view. In Minding Creation, Joanna Leidenhag offers a carefully reasoned, lucid discussion that explores the rationale for incorporating panpsychism into Christianity. This is an exciting and thought-provoking book that should not be missed. -- Yujin Nagasawa, H. G. Wood Professor of the Philosophy of Religion, University of Birmingham, UK