In the Image of the Invisible

Kathryn Tanner

in Apophatic Bodies

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print November 2009 | ISBN: 9780823230815
Published online March 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823235087 | DOI:

Series: Transdisciplinary Theological Colloquia

In the Image of the Invisible

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Christian theologians, following verses in Genesis to this effect, also commonly claim that human beings are created in God's image. Putting the two ideas together, one might expect them therefore to develop just as commonly the way in which human nature reflects divine incomprehensibility. This chapter moves theological anthropology away from this sort of fixation on a fixed human nature, this preoccupation with established capacities and given identities, by diagnosing its theological underpinnings, and by developing an alternative account of the way humans image God in conversation with early Christian thought. The chapter shows, thereby, how an apophatic anthropology is the consequence of an apophatic theology. If humans are the image of God, they are, as Gregory of Nyssa affirmed, an incomprehensible image of the incomprehensible.

Keywords: Christian theologians; Genesis; human beings; image of God; apophatic anthropology; Gregory of Nyssa; divine incomprehensibility; apophatic theology

Chapter.  7892 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Religion

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