Of God and of the earth: Theological anthropology developed from the theology of John F. Haught

Ann M Michaud, Fordham University


A central theme in John F. Haught’s work is the interrelationship between God, human beings and the rest of creation or created reality. The recognition of this inter-relationality provides a solid basis from which to develop an ecotheology for today. Haught’s theology situates human beings “at home in the universe.” Fundamental to his reflections on theological anthropology is his doctrine of God. Haught’s stance encompasses a theistic belief in a personal God encountered in the basic experiences of life. In more specifically Catholic Christian terms, it can be articulated by way of Scripture (God is relational and caring) and tradition (God is Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the future or final telos for all created reality). This relationship is not pantheistic, but panentheistic. Haught’s perspective differs from that of the creationists and intelligent design theorists, as well as that of the new atheists. Haught also utilizes the resources of science and philosophy, including Charles Darwin, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Jurgen Moltmann, Alfred North Whitehead, Schubert Ogden, and Michael Polanyi, to articulate the interconnectedness of the earth/cosmos and all of its inhabitants, including human beings, and all of these with God. He argues that the universe is constantly moving forward, is future-oriented. God’s creative working can be discerned by theology in the order and novelty of the processes of evolution and in the beauty of the world, and anticipated in the eschatological future which will include in some fashion human beings and all of created reality. God is the source of “information” for the universe. Haught’s resulting theology presents human beings as more closely related to the earth/cosmos and all of created reality than twentieth century Catholic theology has often perceived them. Haught does not present a fully articulated theological anthropology, but embedded in his work are aspects which help to move forward Catholic theological anthropology and theology.

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Recommended Citation

Michaud, Ann M, "Of God and of the earth: Theological anthropology developed from the theology of John F. Haught" (2011). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI3474146.