A journal of academic theology

Evolution Altruism and the Image of God

Responding to a question of Pope John Paul II on what light evolution can throw on creation in the image of God, this article first considers how the creation of humanity in the image and likeness of God (Gen 1:26–27) has been variously understood. It then examines how sociobiology seeks to explain the origin and role of altruism. Finally it proposes a theology of altruism that originates in God’s interpersonal mutual commitment, is humanly and archetypally expressed by Jesus as “the image of God” (Col 1:15), and invites the human species to pursue mutual concern as created in the image of the divine altruism.