Celia Deane-Drummond provides an up to date analysis of the very complex relationship between evolution and Christology. Having doctorates in both theology and biology and serving as chair of Theology and the Biological Sciences at the University of Chester in Great Britain, Deane-Drummond is well qualified to discuss Christ and Evolution. This book contributes to the area of theological evolutionary theory from a historical perspective that seeks to describe this history in terms of Theo Drama rather than Grand Epic. The use of Theo Drama in Christology allows for the ever-changing stages of life and planet that is observed in science to be considered from the standpoint of a participant. This is opposed to a Grand Epic style which is more historical and poetic, taking the viewpoint of spectator rather than participant. In support of Theo Drama she draws from Hans Urs von Balthasar while providing sufficient space in order to critique what she thinks is his biased position toward women. Deane-Drummond also looks to Sergii Bulgakov’s work on Wisdom Christology, Logos Christology and Theo Drama. For Deane-Drummond the merits of Theo Drama include avoiding the need to concretely define what will be in the evolutionary future (247). Not needing to define the future of evolution is both more realistic and liberating.
Deane-Drummond reviews the history of biological evolutionary theory and then describes what is currently accepted by evolutionary biologists. A lengthy 30 page introduction assures her audience that Deane-Drummond has considered numerous biological and theological positions on evolution before attempting to approach the subject within the text. The body of the book has two parts. Part one, “The Drama of Incarnation,” looks at the incarnation and covers Theo Drama, Secularized Evolution, Incarnate Wisdom, and Beauty. She also offers a significant critique of the emerging field of evolutionary psychology. The second part, “The Drama of Hope,” considers Atonement, Resurrection, Wonder and the characteristics influencing the future human. Deane-Drummond then offers her own synthetic reflections, drawing from both science and theology and develops an incarnational theory of redemption that is inclusive of the entire spectrum of creation, both human and non-human.
Deane-Drummond’s main objective is to support the idea of using Theo Drama to describe the history of Christology so that Christology can become more compatible with the scientific world. She approaches the subject historically by describing the thought of well-known evolutionary scientists Darwin, Gould and Eldredge, as well as major theologians who have contributed to evolutionary thought. Drawing on Arthur Peacock the author connects the gaps in Gould’s punctuated equilibrium theory to the possibility of Divine Intervention (14-24).
This book would serve well as a reference work for any class that seeks to delve deeper into the ever more complex and emerging subject of evolution and Christianity. It is well researched and documented, though it does not include a bibliography. The book has an index that is well structured for the content.