1st Edition

The Philosophical and Theological Relevance of Evolutionary Anthropology Engagements with Michael Tomasello

Edited By Martin Breul, Caroline Helmus Copyright 2023
    206 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

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    This book explores the philosophical and theological significance of evolutionary anthropology and includes diverse approaches to the relationship between evolution, culture, and religion. Particular emphasis is placed on the work of Michael Tomasello, who contributes an opening chapter that tackles the role of religion in his natural history of human thinking and human morality. The first section of the book considers the philosophical foundations of evolutionary anthropology and shows that evolutionary anthropology is open to a multitude of philosophical analyses. The second part offers theological perspectives on the relationship between evolutionary and theological anthropology and between evolution and religion. The volume also reflects more broadly on the complex relationship between religion and science in the contexts of late-modern societies. It makes a significant contribution to the religion and science debate and offers performative evidence that an interdisciplinary discussion between theologians, philosophers, and natural scientists is feasible.

    1 Introduction

    Martin Breul and Caroline Helmus

    2 Some Thoughts on Evolution, Culture, and Religion

    Michael Tomasello

    Part I The Philosophical Foundations of Evolutionary Anthropology

    3 Michael Tomasello’s Vision of Human Uniqueness and the Place of Human Religion

    Wesley Wildman

    4 How Transcendental Aristotelianism can integrate Tomasello’s Natural History of Morality

    Christian Illies

    5 Pointing as Intending. On the Social and Cognitive Significance of Deictic Communication

    Henning Tegtmeyer

    Part II Theological Perspectives on Evolutionary Anthropology

    6 The Nature of Humanity and the Origins of Religion: Contributions from Michael Tomasello

    Marcia Pally

    7 Tomasello and Kant. Religious Faith and the Evolution of Morality––Empirical Support for

    Kant’s ‘Postulates of Practical Reason’?

    Martin Breul

    8 Embodied Image of God. Evolutionary Anthropology in Theological Perspective

    Gregor Etzelmüller

    9 Cultural Learning, Embodiment and Relationality in Evolutionary and Theological


    Caroline Helmus

    Part III Broadening the View: Further Reflections on Religion, Science, and Modernity

    10 Deficiency Guarantee? Jürgen Habermas on the Anthropological and Evolutionary Function

    of the Sacred Complex

    Thomas M. Schmidt

    11 Between Relevance and Redundancy. Thoughts on the Profile of Theology in the Ever

    -Accelerating Late Modernity

    Anne Weber

    12 Excess and Evolution. The Transgressive Sources of (R)Evolution

    Sarah Rosenhauer


    Martin Breul is Substitute Professor of Systematic Theology at the Institute of Catholic Theology, the University of Dortmund, Germany.

    Caroline Helmus is a postdoctoral researcher in the Faculty of Catholic Theology, the University of Tübingen, Germany.