Andrew Davison

All Creatures that on Earth Do Make a Dwelling

Ecological Niche Construction and the Ubiquity of Creaturely Making

Volume 7 () / Issue 2, pp. 181-204 (24)
Published 16.11.2020

Every organism shapes its ecological home or environment. Although theological interest in this phenomenon of 'niche construction' has focused so far on human beings and their settings, contemporary biology presents us with the phenomenon of every creature as a maker. This paper asks what Christian theology is to make of that observation, drawing particularly from traditions of scholastic theology associated with Thomas Aquinas. Various existing categories can be expanded to integrate this ubiquitous activity of fashioning and adaptation in niche construction. We look first at organisms as causes, then as agents, and finally as participating in the sort of 'subcreation' that has previously been discussed in relation to human beings.

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