Talk:Christian anthropology

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Article creation[edit]

I created this article after suggesting it at Talk:Soul sleep. Vassilis78 gave general support to the suggestion, and also commented in a separate post that scholarly views were under-represented. Colin MacLaurin 12:31, 2 May 2007 (UTC)

Please be bold about suggesting or implementing changes, as I am not an expert on the subject. In particular, you may wish to comment on the appropriateness of the title. Colin MacLaurin 12:41, 2 May 2007 (UTC)

I noticed that the Christian theology article uses "Theological anthropology". That is an option. I do not suggest "Nature of man", because although it is very common, it could sound sexist today. Colin MacLaurin 13:31, 2 May 2007 (UTC)
Page renamed to Christian anthropology, which will serve as an offshoot of Theological anthropology, which I have just created as a stub article. Colin MacLaurin 11:54, 3 May 2007 (UTC)

Good start; a lot more could be done in citing sources. I'd back up to specific scriptural references as well as the Creeds, for one thing, and go past G/Nyssa and Augustine, important as they certainly are, to Lombard (Sent. II and III, in particular), Abelard, and Aquinas, and the ways in which various later medieval and early Renaissance (and later, Enlightenment) writers addressed these issues, especially in light of the Reformation and Counter-Reformation (OK, there's a thesis in there, true, but a summary would be good.)

Also, a discussion of how anthropology and sacramental theology play with each other could be entertaining... (talk) 19:29, 6 May 2013 (UTC)


I see the scope of this article (topics it covers) as quite broad. The original intention was to create a page which would serve as a "parent" for topics such as body, soul, spirit, conditional immortality, immortal soul, annihilationism, eternal hell, purgatory, soul sleep etc. Then I realized that "anthropology" (the study of man), which seems to be the preferred term for what I was attempting to describe, is actually much broader than the "innate constitution of man" alone. Theological authority Millard Erickson titles the corresponding chapter of Christian theology 2nd edn. as #5 "Humanity". The five sub-chapters are an introduction, "The Origin of Humanity", "The Image of God in the Human", "The Constitutional Nature of the Human" and "The Universality of Humanity". On first glance he does not discuss concepts such as free will in these chapters, but I do believe they are also "anthropology". Colin MacLaurin 12:14, 6 May 2007 (UTC)

Greek terms[edit]

I would like to invite Vassilis to enter in the Greek characters for soma, sarx, pneuma, psuche (or maybe psyche is preferred) etc. and also the best Roman ("English") transliterations for these (others would probably get an accent wrong, etc). Please also link to the correct Greek language article, as there are many different ones for modern Greek, Koine Greek, ancient Greek etc. and I have no idea. Colin MacLaurin 03:55, 4 May 2007 (UTC)

I will do so today.--Vassilis78 06:38, 4 May 2007 (UTC)

I would like to ask you to correct my poor English in the text and to forgive me for not giving full bibliographic information for the moment. I'm hurry because now I am at work. Be patient with me. More information is to follow...--Vassilis78 11:00, 4 May 2007 (UTC)

Vassilis, Thanks for your contributions. Your English is very good - especially compared to my Greek! You seem to have a good understanding of the Orthodox Church POV. This is very helpful because I must confess that many Christians in Australia etc. often don't know much about. Colin MacLaurin 11:56, 6 May 2007 (UTC)

Aspects need clarification[edit]

The opening paragraph says: "One aspect studies the innate nature or constitution of the human..." The introduction then doesn't tell the reader what the other aspects are.

As I can best figure out, the article seems to talk also about the origin of man (Creation) and the end of man (eschatology). If that's the intent, it should say so in the introduction and the article should be organized to give these two aspects comparable status to the first one. --SteveMcCluskey 19:20, 25 May 2007 (UTC); edited 19:39, 25 May 2007 (UTC)

Highly Problematic Statement[edit]

"modern neuroscience, which has revealed that the so-called "higher functions" of the mind are emergent from the brain"

This statement needs to be changed or rewritten. It uses the word emergent which is consistent with holism. Holism is contrasted with monism. Furthermore scientific reductionism is based upon the presupposition of monism, so you cannot use scientific reductionism to prove monism when, if fact, monism is assumed. This circularity would make it simply meaningless. I'm too busy at the moment to provide references, but it would be nice if someone who studied philosophy inserted some accuracy here. I study philosophy myself, but admittedly I have only taken one course in Philosophy of Science. I did research and write a paper on the multiple realizability argument regarding scientific reductionism. During the course of my research I discovered that monism is assumed in the whole issue. Cheers. (talk) 04:48, 3 April 2009 (UTC)

Different statement but likely even more ridiculous: "God's image in the human Main article: Image of God

The book of Genesis also teaches that human beings, male and female, were created in the image of God. The exact meaning of this has been debated throughout church history. "Created in the image of God" means that there is an equivalency of concepts in human anthropology to that of our Creator, see above under Word."

The above is wishful thinking, with no basis in christian history, especially when it speaks of creation-they cannot change what their flawless god wrote through Moses. And changing "man in his image" to "humankind in his image" is a LIE as it pretends the first one is the same as second (ie male and female = adam and eve), no one was a very large creation (lots of people) and the 2nd, only TWO. And more importantly and ending all reasonable doubts-the major problem of how man and woman are treated by god-worlds apart, one person, one property, one worth talking to and naming, the other tossed to the one in his image to name, talk to, whatever, his "helper". This is utter nonsense from a christian apologetic. First of all ,it said "“Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth,” (Gen. 1:26, NASB)." in Genesis 1. And this is the first creation by the Elohim-thus the "Let US.... in OUR image" It's all the gods creating, with Yhvh. And in THIS case, yes it seems to indicate equality, "male and female" are treated the same. As it goes on to say "male and female he created them.

BUT... that's not where christians believe they come from. They can't be christians without original sin-which comes from week 2, the 2nd creation, which is just the ONE god, "El" of "Elohim", with his special little project, the Garden of Eden, a special home for HIS people, in HIS presence (polytheism doesn't allow one god all power, nor even geography-thus "exodus", while the whole book (exodus, but yes, in proving genesis false, the entire theology collapsed, admitted or not) was recently proven false, it still speaks to the fact that the god is limited in power, like when Cain "goes out from His presence", this statement makes no sense if the god is "omnipresent" by definitions alone. Makes perfect sense in the world of polytheism that Jesus/Jehovah/Yahveh came from-not disputed by Jews, just the christians of course lol. To the point, and why this article section is BIASED AS ALWAYS to paint christianity as something good or positive for humankind, untainted by its own slaughters, free from its endless errors, etc., instead of painting some truth, here is why:

In the 2nd creation, and for those who cannot read and see the 2 stories are nothing alike, that nowhere in the OT, does any story repeat itself as there are not several authors like in NT (thus different views/accounts) in OT, there is only Moses. Nobody witnesses creation, we must assume he tells Adam.... who passes it down until Moses writes it down after being attacked by a few different versions of Yhvh.

That said, it's 2 stories, further revealed by "These are the generations of..." which always is a chapter break, ie new story. Regardless, even if you believe everything you're told, including "Genesis 1 and 2 are same story" (they aren't even derived from the same culture, it's obvious), the 2nd must be given the most weight as christianity collapses instantly if Eve doesn't commit original sin-what would they feel bad and oppress others about??? The point is, in THAT CREATION, they are NOT equal at all. It is very clear that one is property of the other, as stated, as indicated by the fact that Adam was in his image, that's why ONLY Adam is named by God. ADAM NAMES EVERYTHING HE HAS DOMINION OVER-THAT INCLUDES EVE. End of story, she is property. It Condones slavery, and so did christians, the very last to accept civil rights-they haven't yet. And likewise with women, only christian organizations are working hard RIGHT NOW to get women back where they belong-without rights, without independence or liberty, and back where they belong, as property, as "helpers". My god, the lies are so ridiculous. "humankind"... THERE IS NOTHING HUMANISTIC IN THE BIBLE. THERE'S A REASON THE US CONSTITUTION WAS THE FIRST IN HISTORY TO LEAVE GOD AND JESUS OUT. LIBERTY AND CHRISTAINTY ARE MUTUALLTY EXCLUSIVE. Doubt it? But... they only attack the liberty of others, proving my point. Right now most christians are invading the homes of gay people and examining their bedrooms and folding their arms and shaking their heads on behalf of their deity, who while obsessed with mutilating the penis, has a big beef with sodomy-but not the kind in sodom in the bible, where sodomy meant being rude to strangers (hmmm who in our culture are really the sodomites???? how ironic!) but the kind only christains are obsessed about. Back to this christians lies intended to decieve and wikipedia's preference for such biased duplicitors.... As a matter of fact, one is person, one is property. This was the view forever until it became unpopular-but it doesn't change the bigotry-rather only reveals the fallacy at the heart of the religion as truth does not change over time, nor does a pure philosophy have to conform to the obvious truths as other people reveal them... God talks to Adam, he creates him from the special clay and breathes life into him, then names him, "Adam". If they are equal, they'd be the same here too, far from it. No, woman is made of a scrap of man, little else is said about her creation, but the key issue is that ... the god doesn't even say hello or talk to her as he did Adam. Nor does he respect her enough to name her. No, she is placed as a "helper" along with oxen and geese and those birds called "bats" in the bible-she is in bucket of "Dominion" that Adam has to come up with names for. She's just a pet. So no, in chapter 2-the one that chrsitians care about as that's where THEY COME FROM (original sin), SHE is most certainly not creeated in his image. Cognitive Dissonance is no excuse for dishonesty. Wikipedia is about as objective as Liberty University, frauds. Source: The bible, not the revised version, the actual version that is deep, deep in your christian culture-it STILL SAYS SHE'S PROPERTY-SHE IS NEVER WITHOUT A MAN, GIVEN FROM THAT MAN TO THIS ONE. YOU SHOULD ASK HIS PERMISSION for a decision about her life. AND THE FATHER OF THE BRIDE SHOULD STILL PAY THE DOWRY TO TAKE THE CHATTEL OFF HIS HANDS (wife's parents pay for wedding, modern dowry). And in the end (ie, even today)... he still names her, proving my point and the author/s or is it "indoctrinators" a liar.. And that indeed as the facts are objective. And ch1 vs ch2 make it quite clear what equal and unequal look like. Those folks in Nod? From the first creation see-that's a big missing link but christains, via the core of the faith don't think, so missing it shall remain. Never mind all the plural references, mentions of "council of gods" in psalms , or many other passages, "Let US go down there and confound their speech" Who is the "us"???? Quite obvious to my cat, ~~Bob the Lunatic~~ [1]

Another citation needed for Catholic teaching on the origin/transmission of souls[edit]

The article states "The Roman Catholic Church officially teaches the soul is created at the very moment of conception." and cites generically the Catechism of the Catholic Church's entry on Man, which does not make this statement of souls being created at the moment of conception. In fact, I'm pretty sure the Catholic Church teaches no such thing. I've always heard that it can't be the moment of conception, since there is always a chance that the zygote can split, forming monozygotic twins (and in such a case, it wouldn't make sense to say that the soul "split" or that one zygote has no soul.

If the Catholic Church does in fact teach this, please provide a better citation and resubmit. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Jim Casy (talkcontribs) 04:42, 6 June 2013 (UTC)

Minor typo[edit]

The passage on Augustine included this typo: "After the fall of humanity they are now experiencing dramatic combat between oneanoilop". I'm not sure how this typo could have happened, but I'm assuming the author was trying to say something along the lines of "one another", so I changed it. ~~Greaserpirate~~

Removal of "Word" subsection from "Terms and concepts" section[edit]

I removed this section because it was original research. The contributor did not present published findings of others working in Christian anthropology, but rather made arguments him- or herself in the article, and cited only a source that served as inspiration for the ideas argued for. In a survey of multiple Christian systematic theology texts sitting on the shelf beside me here, the concept of "Word" as a constituent of human nature does not appear once. The reason for this is fairly simple to understand; the term Word is used in Christian theology either (a) to indicate God's revelation, God's command, or other sorts of divine communication (thus the common use of the phrase "the Word of God" to refer to the Bible), or (b) as an appellation for the Second Person of the Trinity, a.k.a. the Son, in accordance with John 1:1-18. When John 1:14 declares that "The Word became flesh," this has been understood throughout Christian history as a statement about this divine person becoming human and therefore that "Word" is precisely not a constituent of human nature. So, regardless of any merits or deficiencies in the contributor's argument about the anthropological significance of "Word," it remains the case that incorporating the concept of "Word" into the realm of theological anthropology stand at odds with most, if not all, of the rest of Christian theological tradition. Therefore, this material is not appropriate for a Wikipedia article. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Jstovell (talkcontribs) 10:16, 10 December 2013 (UTC)

Assessment comment[edit]

The comment(s) below were originally left at Talk:Christian anthropology/Comments, and are posted here for posterity. Following several discussions in past years, these subpages are now deprecated. The comments may be irrelevant or outdated; if so, please feel free to remove this section.

I'm guessing this is a B, though I'm not quite sure. Laleenatalk to me contributions to Wikipedia 19:27, 25 July 2007 (UTC)

Last edited at 19:27, 25 July 2007 (UTC).

Substituted at 11:39, 29 April 2016 (UTC)

  1. ^