Theistic stewardship

April 20, 2007

Your reviewer Anthony Freeman more than once misses the point in his review of my book Creation, Evolution and Meaning (Books, April 6).

Thus the quotation from the final chapter, which he suggests illustrates that I "give up" (on theories of stewardship), does nothing of the kind.

The comment was merely a passing acknowledgement that a secular belief in stewardship lacks metaphysical grounds and matching motivations.

But the subsequent sentences proceed to say that where stewardship beliefs are based on belief in God they do much better in terms of motivation and of rational support as well.

The following paragraphs, apparently unnoticed by your reviewer, strengthen the argument for theistic stewardship by bringing together arguments presented earlier for belief in God, for the consistency of Darwinism with divine creativity and for belief in the intrinsic value of the natural world.

Far from being "routine treatments", these passages help to bring out why non-human, as well as human, nature is worth cherishing, and unify the book.

Robin Attfield
Cardiff University

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