Sunday, September 23, 2012

The Problem of the Soul

A similar uneasiness with this kind of distinction has appeared more recently within Roman Catholic theology, due no doubt in part to a sense that the notion of a self-subsistent soul is non-scriptural and/or that the notion of God's immediately creating each human soul does not fit easily into the continuum of living beings that marks the theory of evolution. We have already seen that Pope John Paul II alluded to this latter point by saying that the 'ontological leap' that marks the emergence of human beings with their spiritual souls is something beyond the ken of the observational sciences as such. One may readily grant his point that philosophical and theological issues cannot be adjudicated by the natural sciences and also agree with his evident desire to affirm a transcendent dimension to human beings against materialist denials of such a dimension and nevertheless wonder whether there may not be a way of arguing for this transcendence that is more in accord with what he calls the 'sciences of observation.' 
--James A. Wiseman, O.S. B. Theology and Modern Science, p. 83.