Glory and Human Nature

Authored by: Charles Taliaferro

The Ashgate Research Companion to Theological Anthropology

Print publication date:  February  2015
Online publication date:  March  2016

Print ISBN: 9781472410931
eBook ISBN: 9781315613673
Adobe ISBN: 9781317041320


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Theological anthropology is broader in scope than mainline philosophy of mind in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. For over a hundred years, most philosophy of mind in the Anglophone world has been carried out quite independent of taking into account the theological significance of its different theories of mind. For the most part, philosophers have also foregone situating philosophy of mind in relationship to the theory of values. Theological anthropology, on the other hand, includes serious attention to the goodness of human life, offering accounts of the values and disvalues of human living and the powers and liabilities of being embodied persons. It is because of the importance of values in theological anthropology that it is important to consider the charge by some feminists that Christian theism is inseparably linked to patriarchy and illicit forms of domination. Emilie Judge-Becker and I seek to represent this critique and respond to it in the chapter “Feminism and Human Nature.” In this chapter, I assume that charge is answered (or answerable) and go on to propose we think about linking our understanding of the meaning of life itself. For Christian theists, this involves a recognizing the goodness of creation, the reality of evil as that which is abhorrent to God, and recognizing opportunities for redemption. For a philosopher who is exploring the theological implications of our understanding of human nature, this exploration requires expertise in both philosophy of mind, the theory of values as well as theology in addition to being able to draw on the sciences and the history of ideas. This is a tall order, and I do not pretend to have expertise on the scale needed for such a systematic inquiry. Tossing caution to the wind, I propose we at least make a start in this chapter on a neglected theme in Christian theological anthropology: glory.

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