Wentzel van Huyssteen's Gifford Lectures, published as Alone in the World? Human Uniqueness in Science and Theology, accomplish critical and constructive thinking about interdisciplinary reflection on science and religion and about the meaning of human uniqueness. One approach to discussion of van Huyssteen's text entails consideration of three issues: the contextual character of research on humans and animals, the difficult problem of defining uniqueness, and the important consequences of exploring human uniqueness. Evolutionary biology and primatology contribute specific scientific insights.
Ecofeminism refers to feminist theory and activism informed by ecology. Ecofeminism is concerned with connections between the domination of women and the domination of nature. Although ecofeminism is a diverse movement, ecofeminist theorists share the presuppositions that social transformation is necessary for ecological survival, that intellectual transformation of dominant modes of thought must accompany social transformation, that nature teaches nondualistic and nonhierarchial systems of relation that are models for social transformation of values, and that human and cultural diversity are values (...) in social transformation. Ecofeminist theology, ethics, and religious perspectives are particularly concerned with the integration of science and religion. Examples of religious or spiritual ecofeminisms are North American Christian ecofeminism, North American womanist Christian theology, neopagan Wiccan ecofeminism, Native American ecofeminism, and Third World ecofeminism. (shrink)
In this timely, thoughtful book, which goes to the heart of feminist concerns in the context of larger social, ecological, and theological issues, Nancy R. Howell proposes an ecofeminist worldview based on the organic-relational philosophy of Alfred North Whitehead. In particular, the book explores the ways in which Whitehead's philosophy can help to establish interrelationships among various women's communities, the relationship between humanity and nature, and the theological process of relating the world to God. Howell strives to develop principles that (...) are compatible with the wide spectrum of women's voices from different racial backgrounds and social strata. Specifically, she moves beyond mere acknowledgment of differing perspectives within the woman's movement and seriously engages criticisms of race-privileged white feminism by African American and Latin American activists. A Feminist Cosmology calls for a self-critical reformation of feminist thought based on a more inclusive framework, one that takes into account the diversity of relationships among women, the deep interdependence of humanity and the ecosystem, and ultimately the variety of theological perspectives relating the world to God. (shrink)
Multiple dimensions and textures of transcendence are evoked not just by reflection on humans in their relationship with God and community but also by encounter with bonobos—primates that are very close genetic kin with humans. The promise for theological reflection is rooted in bonobo social adaptation as a highly cooperative species. Bonobo sexual behavior accompanies and expresses a high level of social intelligence. The point of my project is not a scientific one intended to argue persuasively for individual self-awareness or (...) self-transcendence in bonobos. Instead, it emphasizes connectedness, interdependence, and sociality as windows on transcendence. Such a view does not require consciousness or intellectual recognition of self-in-relation, but it certainly presumes embodiment of self-in-relation. Various textures of transcendence reflect multidirectional relationships among Pan paniscus (bonobos), Homo sapiens , and the Sacred. (shrink)