Resisting Reductionism


Gary W. Deddo, "Resisting Reductionism: Why We Need a Truly Theological Anthropology to counter the Dehumanization of God’s Humanity," Participatio 9, "Theological Anthropology" (2021): 95-128


Deddo, Gary W. "Resisting Reductionism: Why We Need a Truly Theological Anthropology to counter the Dehumanization of God’s Humanity." Participatio 9, "Theological Anthropology" (2021): 95-128


Many contemporary Christian theologians have recognized the need for an explicit and thoroughly theological anthropology. The loss of the truly transcendent Triune Creator and Redeemer God revealed in Jesus Christ threatens the loss of humanity and human community in the church and in the world. This essay contends that the most fundamental challenge arising in our post-Enlightenment, indeed, post-Christian western and westernized cultures does not consist in the divergence or even disintegration around matters of morality/ethics, or social, economic, scientific, technological or political issues. Rather, the most fundamental matter involves the reductionistic apprehension of the human being, en se. Both Karl Barth and Thomas F. Torrance recognized this reductionistic danger of the dehumanization and depersonalization of humanity in our modern world. To address it they laid a christological and trinitarian foundation for an essentially theological anthropology. Ray S. Anderson was one of the first English-speaking theologians to build most squarely upon that foundation in order to counter that immanent collapse. This essay surveys and comments on the breadth and depth of Anderson’s development of Barth and Torrance’s theological anthropology as represented in his 1982 groundbreaking book, Being Human: Essays in Theological Anthropology — and offers it as an indispensable contribution to the monumental task of resisting reductionism in our day, first in the One Church of Jesus Christ, and then, by the grace of our Triune God, in this fallen world.

Theological Anthropology
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