How to Read Genesis
In today’s episode, Dan and Catherine are joined again by Dr. Mathew Tsakanikas to discuss Genesis in light of evolution and Christian anthropology. Dr. Tsakanikas, a theologian with extensive biblical studies, delves into ways to interpret Genesis, Mosaic authorship, the Catholic Church and evolution, and what it means to be human.
How should Genesis be viewed?
Dr. Tsakanikas begins by explaining that Genesis should be viewed historically and figuratively. The writing style embodied in Genesis could never appeal to a modern scientific language, but that does not mean it is incompatible with it. When reading Genesis, we have to think from the categories that were used thousands of years ago.
Who Wrote Genesis?
The conversation continues by exploring the authorship of Genesis. Dr. Tsakanikas posits that there could be a Mosaic authorship involved in Genesis, but there is no certainty. What can be known is that Genesis must have been written by a learned person who recapitulated previous material.
The Catholic Church and Evolution
While many people believe that the Catholic Church, Genesis, and evolution are incompatible, Dr. Tsakanikas continues to explain that Catholic theologians have no issue with evolution. In fact, the Catholic view is often that potentiality unfolds over time, meaning that evolution can be a scientific theory that we approach theologically. Truth cannot contradict truth, religion cannot contradict the truth of science, and science cannot contradict the truths of religion.
Take a Listen
This episode demonstrates that God does not create anything without a purpose, and we can understand Genesis, faith, and evolution as working together. It explains that we can understand that spirit will always precede matter in the human person, and evolution is compatible with Catholicism as long as we integrate mature philosophy and science with theology. When we do this, we develop an integrative view of the human person in light of God’s divine narrative, which continues to unfold through all forms of scientific discovery.