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From Big Bang to Big Mystery

Human Origins in the Light of Creation and Evolution

Author(s): Brendan Purcell

ISBN13: 9781847302717

ISBN10: 1847302718

Publisher: Veritas Publications (30 Jun 2011)

Extent: 288 pages

Binding: Paperback

Size: 3 x 15.2 x 22.9 cm

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  • This book is about the ultimate question or Big Mystery: where did human beings come from. One of the author’s favourite quotes is from the American-based philosopher of evolution, Michael Ruse, who’s said that: ‘Unfortunately, there is simply nothing in the literature by philosophers on human origins.’


    In a facinating, accessible and thorough study, renowned priest Brendan Purcell explores this complex area and tries to make up for that lack?

  • Brendan Purcell


    Brendan Purcell is Adjunct Professor in Philosophy at Notre Dame University, Sydney. Having studied philosophy at University College Dublin, theology at the Pontifical Lateran University Rome, and psychology at the University of Leuven, he lectured in logic, psychology and philosophical anthropology at University College Dublin, retiring as Senior Lecturer in the School of Philosophy in 2008.

    He was ordained a priest of Dublin diocese in 1967 and is at present assistant priest at St Mary’s Cathedral, Sydney.


    He wrote The Drama of Humanity: Towards a Philosophy of Humanity in History (1996), and with Detlev Clemens edited and translated Hitler and the Germans, volume 31 of The Collected Works of Eric Voegelin (1999). 


    He is also the author of From Big Bang to Big Mystery: Human Origins in the Light of Creation and Evolution (Veritas, 2011). The Human Voyage of Self-Discovery: Essays in Honour of Brendan Purcell was published by Veritas in 2014. It is edited by Bishop Brendan Leahy and Professor David Walsh. Brendan is also the author of our monthly blog.

  • Be the first to review this product

    Whilst talking with a group of children preparing for First Holy Communion last week, one brighteyed boy informed me that he had asked his Dad a question and Dad had told him to ‘ask the priest’. Having been ambushed like this before I braced myself for the question troubling the seven year old and sure enough it was as awkward a question as could be: ‘If God made the world who made God?’ I gave a typically lame reply which involved Dr Who at some point.


    Unfortunately I hadn’t yet read Brendan Purcell’s From Big Bang to Big Mystery. Now that I have I’m tempted to make a gift of it to little ‘Johnny’ for First Holy Communion as it offers a comprehensive response to that particular question and many others which are all rooted in the ongoing mystery of the ‘Big Bang of Human Consciousness’ which continues to baffle scientists and believers alike.


    Over a dazzling series of eleven chapters and including philosophical observations which range from Charles Darwin to Richard Dawkins and Aristotle to Bernard Lonergan, the author develops a picture of Divinity at the heart of creation and humanity with a clarity which is both profound and moving. Scripture, literature and poetry are intertwined throughout as he weaves science, religion and philosophy harmoniously together. My seven year old inquisitor when he’s a little older will certainly like this book as will any other seeker after wisdom or truth who believes that the question is always more important (and interesting) than the answer.


     - Fr Paul Clayton-LeaClogherhead, Co Louth

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