Theological Anthropology

Water distribution to victims of floods in Peshawar, Pakistan
Theological Anthropology is the study of the human person in relation to a divine being. Christian theological anthropology therefore refers to the study of the human person as it relates to God.

Theological anthropology concerns the relationship between notions such as body, soul and spirit which together form a human person, based on their descriptions in the Bible. It addresses humans as created in the image of God, with a special qualitative relation to God compared to other species. Sin is the corruption of the relation, indicating that “humans are constitutionally opposed to God”.

Theological anthropology also deals with the restoration of the human relationship with God through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ (The paschal mysteries). Although God is a mystery which the human mind can never penetrate, God in his mystery has revealed himself to us in a unique and ultimate manner in his Word made flesh, Jesus Christ.

God is infinite. Our finite minds can have no comprehensive knowledge of him, but Christians believe that Jesus, the incarnate Word of God, indicates to us in human terms who God is and what God is. “..Confronted with the deeper questions concerning the origin and destiny of mankind, Christianity proposes Jesus of Nazareth. He, we believe, is the eternal Logos who became flesh in order to reconcile man to God and reveal the underlying reason of all things…”

Jesus Christ of Nazareth who is the fullness of divine revelation therefore forms the center and focus of Christian theological anthropology. “..Christian faith is a recognition that God’s Word, Jesus Christ, speaks to our ultimate questions about meaning and life, particularly as we are threatened by the reality of evil, suffering, and death. To those who believe in Him, Jesus reveals who God truly is, who we truly are, and what we and our world are finally to become…”

Through Christology which is the study of Christ, Humans get to know more about themselves and about God and how to relate with Him. Jesus in the word made flesh is hundred percent human and hundred percent divine. The paschal mysteries therefore reveal more about God and much more about man. Jesus raised the dead and healed the sick. The blind could see and the lame could walk which reveal some of the divine aspects of Jesus Christ.

However, “…Jesus wept…” especially when His friend Lazarus died. Jesus got angry at the money changers. Jesus ate, drank and slept which reveal some of the humane aspect of Jesus Christ. Humans were created in the image and likeness of God and it is through the paschal mysteries that Humans get to know who God truly is in flesh and blood.

Christian soteriology deals with the questions of salvation and how human beings are saved or redeemed from all that is wrong in the world. It traditionally focuses on how God ends the separation people have from him due to sin by reconciling them with Himself.

By Grace, God is able to interact with human beings. God protects and guide human beings. God also assists human beings in taking specific tasks.
Christian Eschatology deals with the purpose of the human person, what direction we are headed into and where we go from here. It deals with religious beliefs concerning all future and final events or the end times, as well as the ultimate purpose of the world, of mankind and the church. Christian eschatology deals with the afterlife, the resurrection of the dead, the renewal of creation, Heaven and Hell and the establishment of the Kingdom of God

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About bodhicap

This is the journal-blog from the Capuchins at Bodhi Institute of Theology, Tillery, Kollam, India.
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