Philosophical Seminar: Dr Gaven Kerr 'God and Creation'

Tuesday, October 24, 2017 - 12:00 to 13:00
SE129, School of Education


Contemporary popular discussion of God and creation focus on the consistency or otherwise of Darwinian evolution with the account of creation outlined in Genesis, but it was not always so. Prior to the explosion in contemporary atheist/theist apologetics, philosophers engaged with the question of creation from a rigorously systematic background in metaphysics which in turn provided the tools for interpreting the Genesis account. In this paper I want to look at one such metaphysics of creation, that inspired by St Thomas Aquinas wherein to be created is simply to depend on God for one’s existence, so that creation is not taken to be inconsistent with the universe’s not having had a beginning. Consequently, all that in any way exists on this account does so not primarily because of some temporal sequence of events at the beginning of time, but because of a dependency relation that such things have to God as creator, and that will in turn affect how a Thomist can approach the standoff between Darwinian evolution and certain readings of Genesis.

Chair: Dr Amos Edelheit
Response: Dr Mette Lebech


Gaven is an assistant lecturer in philosophy at Maynooth university. He has published a book with Oxford University Press, Aquinas’s Way to God, and has numerous articles in the International Philosophical Quarterly, American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly, The Thomist, Religious Studies, Journal of Philosophical Research, Yearbook of the Irish Philosophical Society. Currently he is bringing to completion a book length project on Aquinas’s metaphysics of creation and he is also the current editor of the Yearbook of the Irish Philosophical Society. His research interests are into metaphysics, epistemology, and logic, especially as these are dealt with in the ancient Greek and medieval traditions of philosophy as well as in modern and contemporary philosophy. Outside of academic life Gaven is married with two children; he is a practitioner of martials arts; and in music he enjoys both classical and heavy metal, and he also enjoys to read classic literature.