On-line version ISSN 2304-8557
Print version ISSN 0023-270X
VAN DER WALT, B.J.. Imago et similitudo Del: The meaning of humans being God's image and likeness investigated from a Christian-philosophical perspective. Koers (Online) [online]. 2008, vol.73, n.2, pp.207-246. ISSN 2304-8557.
This investigation is an effort to determine the meaning of the Biblical revelation that human beings were created in the image and likeness of God and to do so from a Christian-philosophical perspective. The following steps are taken: The introduction is a reminder that one's view of reality (ontology) and of being human (anthropology) is decisive in terms of how one will understand the meaning of "imago Dei". It is illustrated, firstly in the older essentialistic (or ontological) viewpoints, which explained the image of God in man analogically, in other words as similarity and difference between the divine and human natures. Next, it is indicated that the more recent relational viewpoints on the image of God also cannot really indicate its full richness. The next section provides an exposition of how a few reformational philosophers understood this mysterious Biblical expression about the human being. It is indicated how their viewpoint about human beings can solve many misconceptions connected with the "imago et similitudo Dei" and also open new, wider perspectives. The concluding part will summarise the results of the investigation.
Keywords : anthropology; image of God; likeness of God; ontology; religion.