We will cover the last 2 sections of Chapter 6 in Christopher Southgate’s The Groaning of Creation.
Please answer one of the following questions:
- In Section 6.8, summarize the thoughts of Kallistos Ware in describing humanity’s roles in creation. Do you agree with Ware’s take on the ‘logoi’ of things? If not, explain why. Do you believe as Southgate does, that it is our gift to articulate the connection between creature and Creator? Explain your reasons.
- In light of the Orthodox concept of the Fall, what do you think it means to be co-creators, contemplatives, and priests? Do you agree with Southgate when he states in Section 6.8, ‘our approach to created entities should be in terms of their deep pattern, God’s own conception of them’? What conclusion is he drawing upon when he makes this statement?
- Towards the end of Section 6.8, Southgate references Ware’s statement, ‘the entire cosmos is one vast burning bush, permeated by the fire of the divine power and glory.’ Do you believe that the current Orthodox view is still compatible with Darwinian insights and evolutionary theodicy? Or do you think there is still a lot of ambiguity in creation that has yet to be unpacked? Explain your thoughts and reasonings.
- In Section 6.9, Southgate concludes that humans are in the image of God the maker and innovator and that our future with the non-human world should be improved upon. Do you agree or disagree with this view? Is it the responsibility of humans to create a peaceful co-existence between interspecies communities? In your response please explain in your own words what services humanity can provide to the nonhuman creation in our role of the priesthood.
- Having read Chapter 6 in its entirety, is it still possible to draw a reasonable theological analysis that reconciles with Darwinian naturalism? Do you believe, as Southgate does, that we as humans ought to play an active role in nature to bring about some sort of redemption whether it be through genetic alterations or climate manipulation? Summarize your thought process in your response.
We will give our responses on Sunday.