The development of a robust, holistic theologicalanthropology will require that theology and biblical studies alike enter into genuine interdisciplinary conversations. Depth psychology in particular has the capacity to be an exceedingly fruitful conversation partner for theology because of its commitment to the totality of the human experience (both the conscious and unconscious aspects) as well as its unique ability to interpret archetypal symbols and mythological thinking. By arguing for a psycho-theological hermeneutic that accounts for depth psychology's (...) conviction that myths about the origin of the world are always simultaneously myths about the origin and emergence of human consciousness, I demonstrate that the presence of numerous Jungian archetypes in Genesis 1–3 suggests that the narrative can be read from a psychological perspective without diminishing or marginalizing the dominant theological themes of exile and return. Furthermore, such a reading fundamentally suggests that the narrative is not about how sin entered into creation, but rather how consciousness emerged in human community. (shrink)
Abdallah Ibn Mas?ud, ein Gef„hrte des Propheten Mu?ammad (s.a.s.), berichtete: W„hrend ich mit dem Propheten in einem Palmenhain war, und er sich auf einen blattlosen Palmenzweig st_tzte, kamen einige Juden vorbei.
This book explores the theme of 'memory' in Augustine's works, tracing its philosophical and theological significance. It shows how Augustine inherits this theme from classical philosophy and how Augustine's theological understanding of Christ draws on and resolves tensions in the theme of memory.
I examine the ways in which the theological and philosophical debate surrounding transhumanism might profit by a detailed engagement with contemporary biology, in particular with the mainline accounts of species and speciation. After a short introduction, I provide a very brief primer on species concepts and speciation in contemporary biological taxonomy. Then in a third section I draw out some implications for the prospects of our being able intentionally to intervene in human evolution for the production of new species (...) out of Homo sapiens. In a fourth section Account of Human Nature? And Where Does This Leave Transhumanism?”) I bring in the debate over the proper relationship between biological and theological conceptions of human nature, laying out the major options available and considering their possible implications for our understanding of transhumanism. In a fifth section several concrete examples are drawn out pertaining to particular subdisciplines within theology. I conclude by briefly laying out some suggestions for future work, focusing on tasks that theologians specifically ought to pursue. (shrink)
The finite body -- Experiencing finitude n the body and its world -- Finitude, language, and the alterity of the world -- The appearance of the other : and the disruption of finitude by infinity -- Transcending and affirming finitude in desire -- Finitude and authenticity : a discussion of some elements in Heidegger -- Finitude and concrete experience -- Hans Jonas : a limited life is a better life than one that goes on forever -- Coming to terms with (...) death existentially and psychologically : Irvin D. Yalom -- Mediating the infinite and the finite : religion and theology -- Death and sin, wholeness and totality : the task for a philosophical theology that affirms finitude while not neglecting death -- A theological ontology of finitude : Paul Tillich -- God as infinite, and human finitude : F. LeRon Shultz -- Hermeneutics of finitude : Merold Westphal -- Finite symbols ; Breaking on the infinite : R.C. Neville -- Finitude, religion, and human uniqueness : a discussion of J. Wentzel van Huyssteen's Alone in the world? (shrink)
The explanation of the relationship between God and humans, as portrayed in Islam, is often influenced by the images of God and of human beings which theologians, philosophers and mystics have in mind. The early period of Islam disclose a diversity of interpretations of this relationship. Thinkers from the tenth and eleventh century had the privilege of disclosing different facets of the relationship between humans and the divine. God and Humans in Islamic Thought discusses the view of three (...) different scholars of the time: Abd al-Jabbar, Ibn Sina and Al-Ghazali. The relationships discussed in this work are: divine assistance, lu³f, according to 'Abd al-Jabbar; human love and attraction to the divine, 'ishq, according to Ibn Sina, and finally the mystical annihilation of the self in the divine unity, fana', of al-Ghazali. They introduce three approaches of looking at this relationship. In order to perceive these concepts, their perception of God and of the human nature will also be examined here. The starting-point of this research was the desire to set forth a variety of possible relationships which are all in accordance with Islamic belief, but nevertheless demonstrate diversity in understanding the relationship between the human and the divine which in turn suggests the concept of plurality within one religion. Examining these three concepts, which build firm connections between God and humans, reveals the importance of rational inquiry in medieval Islamic thought, not only because it was a source of logical arguments for Islam against its opponents but mainly because it built different bridges leading to God. God and Humans in Islamic Thought attempts to shed light on an important side of medieval rational thought in demonstrating its significance in forming the basis of an understanding of the nature of God, the nature of human beings and the construction of different bridges between them. (shrink)
The Ikhwan al-Safa (Brethren of Purity), the anonymous adepts of a tenth-century esoteric fraternity based in Basra and Baghdad, hold an eminent position in the history of science and philosophy in Islam due to the wide reception and assimilation of their monumental encyclopaedia, the Rasa'il Ikhwan al-Safa (Epistles of the Brethren of Purity). This compendium contains fifty-two epistles offering synoptic accounts of the classical sciences and philosophies of the age; divided into four classificatory parts, it treats themes in mathematics, (...) logic, natural philosophy, psychology, metaphysics, and theology, in addition to didactic fables. The Rasa'il constitutes a paradigmatic legacy in the canonization of philosophy and the sciences in mediaeval Islamic civilization, as well as having shown a permeating influence in Western culture. The present volume is the first of this definitive series consisting of the very first critical edition of the Rasa' il in its original Arabic, with a complete, fully annotated English translation. This epistle, The Case of the Animals versus Man Before the King of the Jinn (Epistle 22), prepared by Professors Lenn E. Goodman and Richard McGregor, is arguably the best known, on account of its prominent ecological fable which casts the exploited and oppressed animals pursuing a case against mankind. Perhaps yet more relevant in modern times, the Ikhwan demonstrate the arrogance of man's claim to superiority, in contrast to the animals' pious understanding of their respective roles within nature. The fable complements and expands upon the short exposition on zoology featured at the beginning of the epistle. (shrink)
The basic idea of the article is to explain how free will relates to the progression from the status integritatis to the status corruptionis to the status gratiae to the status gloriae, contrasting libertarian and compatibilist views. We argue that either account can give an account of these stages (even though it might seem that compatibilist views would have it easier).
Contemporary theologicalanthropology is now almost united in its opposition toward concepts of the abstract individual. Instead there is a strong preference for concrete concepts, which locate individual human being in historically and socioculturally contingent contexts. In this paper I identify, and discuss in detail, three key themes that structure recent theological opposition to abstract concepts of the individual: (1) the idea that individual human beings are constituted in part by their relations with their environments, with other (...) human beings, and with God; (2) the idea that individual human beings are unique entities; (3) the idea that individual human beings cannot be conceptualized in atemporal terms. Subsequently, I seek to demonstrate that theories of embodied cognition offer broad, if not unconditional, support for the concept of the concrete individual. As such, I suggest, theories of embodied cognition provide a valuable resource for dialogue between contemporary science and theologicalanthropology. (shrink)
The growing scholarly debate on emotions and the development of Pentecostal and Charismatic churches in the Global South are just two reasons that urge systematic theology to relate more concretely to faith experiences. Potkay and others present joy as a typical Christian emotion, but it is not a key theme in systematic theology, although it plays far more prominent a role in spiritual and practical theological works. In this paper, the author presents the understandings of joy from the perspectives (...) of Blaise Pascal, A.A. van Ruler and Pentecostals from Ecuador and explores the implications for theologicalanthropology. Based on the study of these three perspectives, the author defends the thesis that joy offers a new focus in the field of theologicalanthropology that places different traditional theological perspectives on the human being in a fresh relation to each other and lays a foundation for a theological contribution to emotion studies. (shrink)
In Reforming TheologicalAnthropology, F. LeRon Shults draws from work on relationality in other disciplines to suggest ways in which theologicalanthropology might profitably be reformulated. While the task is worthwhile, the method promising and the results suggestive, much fine-tuning remains to be done.Paul Lewis review is followed by a brief response from F. LeRon Shults.
Abstract Theology may well provide useful insights into the question of human autonomy?if one is willing to entertain the existence and authority of God as expressed through the scriptures. Accordingly, the Bible presents humanity as designed to exercise much autonomy. But, humanity immediately abused that freedom, resulting in the present universal captivity of the human will to sin and death. The will can now only be liberated from its self-centered bondage through the substitutionary death and resurrection of the God?Man Jesus (...) Christ, received by grace through faith (according to the Protestant soteriological framework). With the acceptance of Christ by faith, the Holy Spirit enters into the believer, causing the will to begin a process of regeneration in which the old self-centered deformation of the will is gradually liberated to a restoration of its original design?a God-centered existence characterized by freedom in pursuing a life of genuine love and righteousness. Within this general theologicalanthropology, Christians often disagree about the relative level of self-determination at the most crucial point?the decision of faith. Philipp Melanchthon (1497?1560) provides an excellent snapshot of this theological debate, due to the evolutionary character of his own teachings on the subject. In 1519, he taught that human beings had no freedom in the choice of faith. At his death in 1560, he taught that human beings did have (at least some) self-determination in this decision. A survey of this doctrinal transformation allows for an in-depth exploration of human autonomy from a theological perspective. (shrink)
INTRODUCTION: Philosophy is the unique science which considers all other sciences in systematically unity (Kant). The classical anthropology (Platon, Aristoteles, Descartes, Hume, Kant, etc.) considers the human and his "spheres" (biological, psychological, logical, philosophical, theological) and his interdependence with nature and society. A philosophical theology investigates spiritual phenomena, described by religions and parapsychology in context of ethics, epistemology (incl. metaphysics), aesthetics. A theologicalanthropology should consider these phenomena multidimensional in context of a holisticscience, i.e. physico- (Kant), (...) bio- (Lüke), psycho-, logico-, philosophical theology, etc. [Lit.: Neu, Michailov: Integralanthropology. In: Proc. 21st World Congr. Philos. Istanbul. Press FISP 280‐281, 2003; Theol. Anthrop. In: Book: New Pathways for Eur. Bioethics. Ed.: Eur. Ass. Med. Ethics, Leuven, p. 53/60, 2006; Med. Ethics, 21st Ann. Conf. EACME (Ed.) Zürich, p. 53, 2007]. CONCEPTION: Regrettably philosophical theology is reduced to nearly philosophical and theological ethics: Both ethics in the future should realize a common scientific integrated ethics based on philosophy, theology, and psychology incl. of great cultures - Brahmanism, Buddhism, Christianism-Mosaism, Confucianism, and Mohammedanism. The present moral philosophy is very pluralistic: Many views concerningnormative and metaethics (deontology, axiology), also relativism, absolutism (incl. utilitarism), noncognitivism are present. A similar situation exists in moral theology: Not only in context of philosophy (consequentialism, justice, protectionism), but more - of theology are existent contradictionary differences concerning ethics in the great religions (related to God, Spirit/Soul, reincarnation, etc.). A future philosophical theology needs a renewal of its scientific theoretical andexperimental fundamentals (controlled observations: criterion for intersubjectivity) concerning theologicalanthropology incl. not only occidental epistemology (metaphysics, scientific theory, etc.), but also oriental - esp. Brahmanistic and Buddhist (self realization by Yoga, Tibetan, Zen Buddhism) and scientific evaluation of spiritual phenomena by biophysics, physiology, psychology and formal (Aristoteles, Gautama), real, transcendental (Kant), metaphysical (Hegel) normal logic. Areconsideration of application of philosophy of arts, esp. aesthetics in philosophical theology is also necessary (incl. inspirations in music/Bach, Beethoven, Händel, painting/Leonardo da Vinci, sculpture/Michelangelo). CONCLUSION: Scientific and political support for a renovation of theologicalanthropology and philosophical theology could help essentially for a realization of UNO-Agenda 21 for better total (incl. spiritual) health and peaceful world. (shrink)
This article explores the possibility of moving beyond the apparent incapacity of Karl Barth's theologicalanthropology to accommodate gender equality. Barth's theologicalanthropology is read by critics and appreciative readers alike as confining the basic form of humanity to a binary opposition from which he then derives a gender‐specific, hierarchical account of man and woman, and finally, of husband and wife as a paradigmatic ethical relationship. I first forward a close reading of Barth's account of I (...) and Thou in order to explicate the nature of the normative form that is basic to his account of human being‐in‐relation. I apply this reading as a lens through which to re‐read and re‐orient his account of Man and Woman/Husband and Wife. I argue that the inequalities that appear intrinsic to Barth's formal ordering of Man and Woman/Husband and Wife owing to the absence of a standard concept of “equal regard” might be re‐oriented, and limitations of his account surpassed, by grasping with greater precision and enunciating the orientational implications of Barth's christologically‐anchored conception of freedom as the “root and crown” of human being‐in‐relation generally, and gendered relationship in particular. (shrink)
David Kelsey's Eccentric Existence. A TheologicalAnthropology is read in the context of the traditions of Christian theology, especially in Europe and North America, and of Kelsey's Yale colleagues. Its theocentric, scriptural and thoughtfully experimental contribution to theologicalanthropology from the perspectives of creation, consummation and reconciliation is analysed, appreciated and assessed. Implications of Kelsey's identification of three distinct plotlines in the Bible are explored. Questions are raised about the range of his Christian conversations, the limitations (...) of his reliance on narrative, his neglect of significant parts of the Bible and Christian tradition, and his focus on the interaction with secular rather than religious dimensions of the contemporary world. (shrink)
The Pastoral Constitution, Gaudium et Spes, is a key document for fundamental theology. In it, for the first time, the Church openly discusses the anthropological question as a specific theme. It explains what Christian anthropology is and in what way the mystery of Christ sheds light on the mystery of man. From the point of view of fundamental theology, the document shows how theological reason is closely related to anthropological meaning. It takes note of the potential mediatory role (...) of anthropology in a dialogue between faith and reason in the modern world. (shrink)
Abu Hamid al Ghazali, one of the most famous intellectuals in the history of Islam, developed a definition of Unbelief (kufr) to serve as the basis for determining who, in theological terms, should be considered a Muslim and who should not. Jackson's annotated translation is preceded by an introduction that reconstructs the historical and theoretical context of the Faysal and discusses its relevance for contemporary thought and practice.
Mainstream currents within Christianity havelong insisted that humans, among all creatures, areneither fully identified with their physical bodiesnor fully at home on earth. This essay outlines theparticular characteristics of Christian notions ofhuman nature and the implications of this separationfor environmental ethics. It then examines recentefforts to correct some damaging aspects oftraditional Christian understandings of humanity''splace in nature, especially the notions of physicalembodiment and human embeddedment in earth. Theprimary goal of the essay is not to offer acomprehensive evaluation of Christian thinking (...) aboutnature but rather to identify theological anthropologyas a crucial dimension of, and problem for, Christianenvironmental ethics. (shrink)
The Human Genome Initiative represents an ambitious attempt to map the genetic structure of the human species (an estimated 100,00 genes). The project has generated a vast amount of theological and ethical literature, none of which discusses the impact of the project on understandings of embodiment. This gap is surprising since Michael Polanyi and, more recently, feminist thinkers have argued that embodiment is central to human existence. I argue that theologians and scientist can teach one another some important lessons (...) about embodiment by exploring some of the literature produced by the project and the anthropologies of Karl Rahner, Wolfhart Pannenberg, Stanley Hauerwas and James McClendon. (shrink)
Germ-line genetic interventions, like all medicine, can present opportunities to remove suffering, save and prolong human life, and support the conditions for successful human performance. Like all medicine, these interventions also present risks that reflect fallen humans’ age-old egocentric ambition to secure their health and improve their quality of life by relying exclusively on their own power, wisdom, and technical means. Moreover, man has always been tempted to overstep Divine prohibitions and to disregard his own calling to become deified by (...) grace. Wherever man succumbs to such tendencies, this inescapably leads to a disruption of the vital relationship between man and God. The legitimacy of the intervention itself depends on the theological status of the genome. Orthodox theology recognizes that the human genome, just as everything else that is created, must be understood in terms of its relationship to God. This consideration, however, does not mean that it can be idolized or is therefore untouchable. Interventions and alterations can be accepted within the constraints set by God, as formulated in the theology of creative logoi of beings in the teaching of the Fathers of the Church, and thus in view of man’s divine vocation. The Christian acceptability or inacceptability of human germ-line gene therapy depends directly on the extent to which it accords with an Orthodox spiritual life, or else hinders such a life. In this sense, this intervention can be examined in the same way as the application of all medical knowledge. When this is used to relieve pain and is motivated by selfless love for one’s neighbor, then it can be considered God’s gift to humankind. When, however, it becomes an absolute and attempts to usurp the presence of God in human life, then use becomes abuse and modern man faces yet another form of idolatry, even though more refined than earlier forms. (shrink)
Currently, there remains an aversion for substance dualism in both philosophical and theological literature. However, there has been a renewed interest in substance dualism within philosophical literature. In the present article, I advance substance dualism as a viable position that persuasively accounts for the Scriptural and theological data within Christian thought. I make a specific argument in favor of a metaphysically simple substance. Along the way, I note the overlap between the philosophical and theological literature and suggest (...) that a simple soul as substance is a metaphysical presupposition grounding the data. (shrink)
This article seeks to extend and refine Alastair MacIntyre’s moral theory of virtue ethics, by probing behind the Benedictine Rule—so fulsomely invoked at the end of After Virtue—to the ascetical theology of the noted, Eastern, ‘Cappadocian’ theologian of the fourth century: Gregory of Nyssa. I shall argue that Gregory’s vision of ascetical bodily practice complicates MacIntyre’s contemporary appropriation of virtue ethics. It does so by underscoring the diachronic, developmental character of personal ethical maturation—a theme which finds no expression in MacIntyre’s (...) otherwise sophisticated account of ‘narrative’. (shrink)
Does human nature possess normative significance? If so, what is it and what implications does it have for biotechnology? This essay critically examines three answers to these questions. One answer focuses on human nature as the ground of natural goods or goods dependent on human nature, another answer finds normative significance in the indeterminacy or malleability of human nature, and a third answer treats human nature as a natural sign of divine grace. Kathryn Tanner, who offers the second answer, and (...) Karl Barth, who offers the third, deny that nature has normative status in itself, apart from grace, but differ over the relation of grace to human nature as created. While indebted to Tanner, this essay favors Barth’s view as best suited to a Christian ethics of biotechnology. (shrink)
Russian Orthodoxy during the twentieth century presented a rich and varied body of thought about the nature of humanity and the human condition. This article surveys the major thinkers within this tradition, beginning with its background in the Slavophile movement and culminating in the work of more recent Orthodox thinkers such as Sergei Bulgakov, Georges Florovsky, Vladimir Lossky, and Alexander Schmemann.