A theological cartography of cultural evolution
Theology and Science
© 2017 Graduate Theological Union (CTNS Program). This article maps key points of contact between Christian doctrine and recent advances in cultural evolution. Beginning with theological anthropology, the article shows that cultural evolution problematizes purely substantive accounts of the image of God. Moving to the doctrine of sin, we explain how cultural evolutionary findings enrich and challenge distinct aspects of hamartiology. The article turns to moral topics, since cultural evolution sheds light on altruistic and hyper-social behavior; additionally, we show how belief in moral deities and observation of religious rituals provide an evolutionary advantage. Finally, the authors analyze whether cultural evolution amounts to an explanation of religion.