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Apophatic BodiesNegative Theology, Incarnation, and Relationality$
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Chris Boesel and Catherine Keller

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780823230815

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: March 2011

DOI: 10.5422/fso/9780823230815.001.0001

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In the Image of the Invisible

In the Image of the Invisible

(p.117) In the Image of the Invisible
Apophatic Bodies

Kathryn Tanner

Fordham University Press

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

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