According to John Polkinghorne, the Fall is the major Christian doctrine that is the most difficult to reconcile with contemporary science. Like him, however, I believe it is vitally important, even in this regard, to try to pinpoint the extent to which taking science seriously requires us to modify traditionally held beliefs. In this paper I focus on two problematic ideas associated with the Fall: (i) the idea of a primordial human couple (Adam and Eve), and (ii) the idea that this couple was subjected to bodily death as a result of their original misdeed. I argue that, contrary to appearances, it is possible to harmonize these beliefs with contemporary science – at least if one presupposes some kind of soul-body dualism. I also try to show that this dualism, although philosophically non-fashionable nowadays, is yet to be refuted or made redundant by current evolutionary theory or neurophysiology.
Bibliographical noteThe information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015.
The record was previously connected to the following departments: Centre for Theology and Religious Studies (015017000)
Subject classification (UKÄ)
- Religious Studies
- Adam and Eve
- John Polkinghorne
- Assumptions into Heaven
- Cartesian Dualism