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Keywords:

  • altruism;
  • Christology;
  • eschatology;
  • evolutionary biology;
  • evolutionary theism;
  • human nature;
  • human uniqueness;
  • metaphysical naturalism;
  • religious pluralism

Abstract Interpretations of human nature driven by scientific analyses of the origin and development of the human species often assume metaphysical naturalism. This generates restrictive and distortive accounts of key facets of human life and ethics. It fails to make sense of human altruism, and it operates within a wider philosophical framework that lacks explanatory power. The accounts of theistic evolution that seek to redress this, however, too easily fail to take sufficient account of the unique contribution of interpretations from a specifically Christian epistemic base. The latter involve a Christological and, hence, eschatological approach which is intrinsic to the interpretation of human nature in light of the purpose and intentionality of the Creator. Phenomenological approaches to the nature of humanity lack the categories to distinguish between human nature as the object of divine intentionality and its present dysfunctional and, ultimately, subhuman state.