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Living with Tiny AliensThe Image of God for the Anthropocene$
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Adam Pryor

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780823288311

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823288311.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM FORDHAM SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.fordham.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Fordham University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FSO for personal use.date: 22 September 2021

Being a Living-System

Being a Living-System

(p.46) Chapter 3 Being a Living-System
Living with Tiny Aliens

Adam Pryor

Fordham University Press

If astrobiology provides a credible way of thinking about what it means to ‘live’ on and with the wider habitats of any cosmic body, then existing sets of symbols must be reinterpreted in order to develop a meaningful way of being-in-the-world and belonging-together-with-the-world in light of the astrobiological concern for intra-action that counters tendencies to human exceptionalism. This chapter makes overlapping arguments that deal with the nature of such symbols. It first examines the relationship between Christian doctrine and symbols to make a case for why doctrines might be reclaimed as symbols in constructive theological reflection if they are not used primarily for apologetic purposes but to facilitate the meaningful re-orientation of our existence in the world. It then considers the Imago Dei as such a doctrinal symbol. Resisting the tendency to turn the doctrine into a freestanding account of biblical anthropology, the chapter draws out resonances between astrobiology’s account of intra-action and the harmonious ordering of creation in cosmogonies that can ground subsequent interpretation of the symbol.

Keywords:   cosmogony, doctrine of creation, human distinctiveness, human uniquensess, image of God, Farley, Edward, religious symbols, ultimacy

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