SOCIAL NEUROSCIENCE AND THEISTIC EVOLUTION: INTERSUBJECTIVITY, LOVE, AND THE SOCIAL SPHERE

with Michael L. Spezio, “Social Neuroscience and Theistic Evolution: Intersubjectivity, Love, and the Social Sphere”; David Fergusson, “Humans Created According to the Imago Dei: An Alternative Proposal”; Thomas F. Tracy, “Divine Purpose and Evolutionary Processes”; Thomas Jay Oord, “The Divine Spirit as Causal and Personal”; and John W. Cooper, “Created for Everlasting Life: Can Theistic Evolution Provide an Adequate Christian Account of Human Nature?”

Authors

  • Michael L. Spezio


Abstract

After providing a brief overview of social neuroscience in the context of strong embodiment and the cognitive sciences, this paper addresses how perspectives from the field may inform how theological anthropology approaches the origins of human persons-in-community. An overview of the Social Brain Hypothesis and of simulation theory reveals a simultaneous potential for receptive/projective processes to facilitate social engagement and the need for intentional spontaneity in the form of a spiritual formation that moves beyond simulation to empathy and love. Finally, elements of a virtue science that draws on Dietrich Bonhoeffer's relational imago Dei are shown to be helpful in framing and motivating theological approaches to human origins.

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