Alexandre Ganoczy

Christianity and Neurosciences Theology of the Human Animal Publication date : August 25, 2008

“This essay wherein I discuss Darwin's theory, the relationship between human and animal behaviour, consciousness, the brain, thought, will, memory, language, freedom, emotions, desire, pleasure, love, art, religion, ethics and, together with Spinoza, the ‘divine' that envelops everything is an attempt to describe the ‘human animal' in its manifold unity,” writes Alexandre Ganoczy.

Resulting from an exchange of ideas with scientists, Ganoczy's book offers a new picture of humanity — one that is in closer harmony with the neurosciences than with the age-old dualism that split human beings into a material body and a spiritual soul.

The book concludes with a discussion of the Christian concept of the divine, by asking the question: “How could such an exchange of ideas result in a notion of the human animal that simultaneously allows the founding of a new ethical code and a reflection on God — the privileged locus of meaning ever since humans appeared on the planet?”

Rarely has an authentic Christian theologian gone so far to take into account the input of the biological sciences, and particularly of the neurosciences, in defining his notion of what is human and what is divine. He points the way to the end of dualism, by demonstrating that there can be a meeting point between brain specialists and theology.

Alexandre Ganoczy was born in Budapest and studied philosophy and theology in Budapest, Paris and Rome. He taught dogmatic theology at the Institut Catholique, in Paris, and, later, at the Universities of Münster and Würzburg, in Germany. He is the author of Calvin et Vatican II (1964), Calvin, théologien de l'église et du ministère (1964), Devenir chrétien (1973), Homme créateur, Dieu créateur (1979), Dieu, l'homme et la nature (1995) and La Trinité créatrice (2003).