Legal Roots of Christian Anthropology

Anthropological Measurements of Philosophical Research 20:113-124 (2021)
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Purpose of the article is to reconstruct the legal sources of Christian anthropology. Theoretical basis. The methodological basis of the article is the understanding of the fundamental foundations of Christian anthropology in the context of Roman legal understanding. Originality. From the point of view of the Christian religion, man is a dual being: his body is part of the material world, but his soul is not from this world, he is born directly from God. The transcendent origin of the soul gives it the right to communicate with God, but this right can be realized only with the help of the Church, which is seen as the "bride of the Lamb" and the mystical "body of Christ". Interpretations of the essence of church organization correlate with the principles of organization of the Roman community. The principle of universal priesthood correlates with the idea of "post-Tarquinian democracy", recognizing the people of Rome as the supreme bearer of the empire of Jupiter; catholicity – with the idea of the senate as a meeting of the most deserving leaders of the community; apostolic succession – with the institution of republican magistrates, who even though received their power from the community, but through "consultations with the gods". In essence, Christian dogmatism is Roman law applied to the Middle Eastern religion; the Bible was interpreted as a legal document, and theologians acted as lawyers. Conclusions. In the ancient Churches the ideal of Roman law was realized as the right of impersonal law, standing outside and above the individual. The latter has no ontological value, it is a "servant of God", but the union of men into the mystical "body of Christ" makes the latter empowered to represent God on earth and to act on his behalf. The Renaissance paved the way for the Reformation, in which a powerful "Greek" lobby declared itself. Despite the fact that many leaders of the Reformation had a personal dislike for philosophy, they were spontaneous philosophers, believing themselves entitled to interpret the will of God independently, regardless of the authority of the councils. They were strict rationalists who only changed the object of their reason: if the ancient Greeks tried to comprehend the world rationally, the Protestants set themselves the goal of rationally comprehending the Book. Ultimately, the main question of Christian theology is the question of man’s attitude to God, and the differences between the anthropological systems within Christianity are the options for answering this question.



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Alex V. Halapsis
Dnipropetrovsk State University of Internal Affairs

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