ANTHROPOLOGY

ANTHROPOLOGY I. Biblical origins – II. Extrabiblical origins – III. Anthropological developments of Gen 1:26; 2:7; and of Paul. I. Biblical origins. The key OT texts are Gen 1:26 and 2:7; Wis 2:23; Sir 17:1-4. In Gen 1:26, on the one hand, the human being = man-woman is the fruit of the divine counsel, created in the image and likeness of God, i.e., in appearance the human is the image-likeness of a divine being, as a copy is to the original. The two terms image and likeness do not indicate two different aspects, but exterior image and interior likeness aspects of the same reality. The human beings are the completion of creation, over which they have dominion which gives value to their life that, for this reason, cannot be violated with impunity Gen 9. The Gen 2:7 account the human made from clay, on the other hand, emphasizes human earthly nature and kinship with the world, complementing Gen 1:26 kinship with the heavenly world. Wisdom literature introduces two additional concepts: that of incorruptibility and therefore immortality as the human end; and that of the eternity or essence of God of which humans are the image. A fundamental category of OT humanity is that of dependence on God, which cannot be ignored without compromising the root of human nature. In the NT, whereas the gospels emphasize human value over that of other goods and institutions, in Paul we see the beginning of an anthropological reflection according to Jewish and Hellenistic categories. Paul’s basic texts are 1 Thess 5:23 human beings as body-soul-spirit; 1 Cor 15:45-49 carnal and spiritual humanity; the first Adam and the last Adam, i.e., the grafting of anthropology onto Christology; Rom 78 the stages of human fulfillment. Paul’s categories are flesh and spirit: flesh sarx is that which excludes God and opposes the spiritual pneuma. The spirit represents for Paul the sphere within which humanity can enter into dialogue with God, who constitutes the vital level of human existence. Flesh and spirit indicate decisional stages: the carnal and the spiritual. Intermediate stages are those of soma body 1 Cor 15:44, psyche soul 1 Cor 2:14; 15:45 and nous intellect Rom 7:23; 12:2; 1 Cor 14:14-15, which can have a positive role since they may lead to the spiritual person. In Paul the psychical person precedes the spiritual. The risen Christ, in 1 Cor 15:45 called the last and second Adam, dwells within the spiritual person; indeed, he is a life-giving spirit, i.e., he gives life to human beings just as Yahweh breathed life into the first Adam. Anthropology is thus interconnected with Christology: persons are what they become in the strength of the risen Christ. The eikon originating image of the human is God according to Gen 1:26, but concretely, that eikon is Christ. For Paul the principle of continuity between humanity’s present and future condition spiritual in the risen life-giving spirit is corporeity soma, a position that sets Paul against every Platonizing anthropology. Paul’s anthropology is also an eschatalogical anthropology, rather than the protological anthropology of gnosticism. II. Extrabiblical origins. The cultural context with which Paul’s anthropology was in constant dialectic was the thought of Philo of Alexandria and of the rabbis, Greeks, and gnostics. Philo, accepting and contrasting Gen 1:26 and 2:7, proposed the distinction between a heavenly person Gen 1:26 who exists prior to the earthly Gen 2:7, and the actual person who corresponds to Gen 2:7, whose exemplar idea is Gen 1:26, identified with nous and which properly defines humanity Leg. all. 1,31-32; Opif. mundi 134. The rabbinical conception gave priority to Adam in paradise as God’s image; despite Paul’s criticism, it entered Christianity through the ps.-Clementines and Irenaeus. Hellenism, since it had no term anthropologia, and the corresponding terms anthropologein and anthropologos meant only to represent in human form, developed the subject in treatises on human nature. It substantially accepted the central thesis of I Alcibiades that the human structure is constituted by a divine element or soul particularly the nous, intellect as its noblest part, capable of reaching God through knowledge. On this basis, a constant of Greek thought was the inseparability of anthropology from theodicy thesis of the syngeneia or divine kinship, appropriated by Christianity, defining human nature not in relation to the human body or its composite but by the soul alone Alcib. 129e-130e. For non-Christian gnosticism Hermeticism, historical humanity is the fruit of the union between archetypal humanity and nature CH, Poimandres 1,15 and 17; the Christianized gnosticism of the Valentinians divided humanity into three classes: hylic, psychic and spiritual. Only the last will escape destruction; the psychic can either become spiritual or return to the hylic state. They also distinguished between humanity made in the image of the demiurge and humanity made in his likeness psychic humanity. In Gen 1:26 they understand the hylic human of Gen 2:7, into whom had been breathed that breath of life the spiritual seed that, through gnosis, would be rejoined to the divine Iren., Adv. haer. 1, 5,5 and 6-7, 1. III. Anthropological developments of Gen 1:26; 2:7; and Paul. There were basically two developments of biblical anthropology in Christian antiquity: one on the lines of Gen 1:26, the other on Paul’s line of an anthropology anchored to Christology. The simple statement of the Apostolic Fathers that the human being of Gen 2:7, formed of clay, is the same as the human being of Gen 1:26, made in God’s image and likeness, led to two developments. The Greek body-soul dichotomy, though generally accepted, never became an absolute dualist separation because of the common faith of Christians in the incarnation of the Word and resurrection of the body. Starting from the fundamental unity of the human being derived from the biblical creation account, Christian anthropological thought took two directions: either stressing human rationality the Alexandrian and Western tradition, or the plasis or formation of the human body the Asiatic and Antiochene tradition. The Alexandrians sought to define the person by his essential constituent, nous, described for them in Gen 1:26: humanity in the image and likeness of God, the spiritual and perfect human who, in concrete existence, must experience the limitation of the earthly humanity of Gen 2:7, a limitation from which the perfect person must be freed by continual ascesis. Christ did not absorb the earthly into himself; he merely became the ethical model to which the latter must aspire, indeed, the way of return to what humanity truly is. This approach measured itself particularly against Platonism, delineating a metaphysical anthropology that gave little attention to historical humanity. Its last expression, in the Christianity of the 16th-18th c., was the anthropological hypothesis of the purely natural human. The Asiatic-Antiochene approach gave first place to the historical human made of clay, whose whole being, not just part of it the soul, is God’s image. The incarnate Word is not just a human ethical model but the true human, the image of God. In this scheme, Christology became the hermeneutical principle of anthropology. As Irenaeus expressed it: God will be glorified in his plasma made conformable to and like his Son Adv. haer. 5, 6,1. Similarly the Antiochene Diodore of Tarsus, in open polemic with the Alexandrians: Some have thought that the creation of the human being as image of God refers to the invisibility of the soul. They have not understood that even angels and demons are invisible. In what sense then is the human being the image of God? Because he has dominion In Gen. 1,26; PG 33, 1564. Not just the human intellectual faculty but also the entire self in all its bodiliness is the image of God, i.e., bears witness to a principle God that transcends it. The original fact of creation is common to all beings; what distinguishes and sets them apart is their different destinies. In other words this school understood Gen 1:26 under the influence of belief in the incarnation of the Word in the context of Gen 2:7. God’s image in humanity must therefore be referred to the whole person, including the body. To this end Irenaeus made a distinction not present in the biblical text, understanding image as referring to the human constitution, and likeness to life in the Spirit. Christ, from an anthropological perspective, represents the concrete person, the image and likeness, who becomes the way for human beings to become the image and likeness of God. The Spirit, though not constitutive of the person, enables humans historically to become what they are meant to be. Thus Irenaeus says three elements constitute the human: flesh, soul and spirit Adv. haer. 5, 9,1. This is a conception of anthropology on a dynamichistorical level: persons are not just what they were made; rather, persons are what they will become; they are not just God’s work in the sense of having been created by God, but above all a pledge Tertull., De resurr. carnis 6,5, indeed, according to Irenaeus, a pledge of the Spirit Adv. haer. 5, 8,2. Within the great schools of early Christianity, particularly the Alexandrian and Asiatic, we find personalities who epitomize virtually the entire development of Christian anthropology: Justin Martyr forms the juncture between biblical and Greek anthropology; Athanasius, as heir to the Alexandrian and Asiatic tradition, occupies a position between Christian East and West; Augustine, antiquity’s last great thinker, definitively disjoins anthropology from cosmology, and holds that persons must interrogate themselves directly to discover who they are, filtering the whole of reality that they encounter, including God, through themselves. We will examine the principal contributions of each. 1. The apologists: Justin. The Christian apologists, while sharing Empedocles’s definition of human nature as a microcosm encapsulating the four elements Diels, Die Frag. der Vor., I, fr. 6,8,9; 112-148, tried to surpass the Greek conception of humanity as pure rationality, stressing the presence of the divine spirit within that makes a person like God and which is opposed to the material spirit Tat., Orat. 12,1 and 4,2. With them, anthropology began that dialectic of continual approach and distancing between biblical and Hellenistic elements. Justin developed a Logos-anthropology that distinguished a Logos spermatikos the seminal logos, the divine reality: originally a Stoic expression and a sperma seed of the Logos the human reality, according to Holte; for Waszink, the Logos-Christ is the category of truth, while the Logos spermatikos is the presence of this truth in humanity. His Logos is a synthesis of Platonic nous, Stoic pneuma and Jewish wisdom, using the three terms as equivalents to explain the cosmos and human nature. The creaturely link between humanity and the Logos takes concrete form for Justin in the incarnate Word, who teaches us how to return to God as human destiny Apol. 1, 10,4; 2, 15,5; 2, 10,1; Dial. 93,3. In the incarnate Word each person has a model and, illumined by him, becomes a mediation between God and the cosmos as its priest hiereus. To fulfill this task, humanity is given freedom Apol. 1, 43,3 and 8. 2. The Asiatic tradition: Irenaeus. This tradition reflects on anthropology in terms of the salvation of the whole person, body, soul and spirit Iren., Adv. haer. V, 6,1 and 9,1. It asks: in what sense can a human being, including the bodily component, be called God’s image as in Gen 1:26? Irenaeus sees the incarnate Word as the subject of that image, thus making an essential connection between Christology Christ incarnate as image of God and anthropology humanity as the image of Christ and extending the image of God of Gen 1:26 beyond human rationality to embodiedness. Human flesh is God’s image in view of the flesh of the Word incarnate. To explain this Irenaeus was the first to introduce into the understanding of the sacred text the distinction which is not original to the text between image human creatureliness in history and likeness what humanity becomes by the power of the SpiritAdv. haer. 5, 1,3 and 28,4. This is Irenaeus’s somatic anthropology which, against the gnostics and Platonizers in general, who denied any possibility of salvation to corporeity, gave the human image the very lineaments of the incarnate Word. Tertullian wrote: In the slime that took on form was the thought of Christ who would become human Resurr. 6,3. 3. The Alexandrian eikon-anthropology. The Alexandrian anthropology of the image is grafted onto the Middle Platonism of Philo, the basic points of which were 1 the soul’s kinship with God and 2 the capacity of the human nous image of God to relate to God to the extent of becoming like him homoiosis. Therefore the Alexandrians made nous the soul’s highest faculty the seat of the divine image and the defining human characteristic Clem. Alex., Paedag., 3, 1,1; Orig., C. Cels. 4,83. The human of Gen 2:7, humanity as image, historical humanity, is in tension with the human of Gen 1:26, humanity as likeness. Christ is the human person as likeness of Gen 1:26, the concrete model or didaskalos of every human being who, by practicing virtue, must imitate and follow him: in this way every human realizes himself and becomes like God homoiosis Clem. Alex., Strom., 5, 88,1-3. Origen, developing the Philonian conception of humanity’s double creation, saw in Gen 1:26 the true human, the original human who must be recovered, and in Gen 2:7 the fallen human, a nous subjected to a coat of skins In Gen. hom. 1,13; In Io. 20,22. The human image is only in the soul’s nous, but precisely as image of the Logos, hence Christ always remains the paradigm of the recovery of the true human image. Athanasius developed this school’s doctrine of human recovery through the Word, by being logikos, i.e., capable of relating to divine and intelligible realities De incarnatione 3,3. The role of the incarnate Word is to restore to humans the possibility of relating with him and thus with their own image De inc., 13,7 and 20,1. The Cappadocian fathers, esp. Basil Hex. 9, homilies on Gen 1:26 and Gregory of Nyssa De hominis opificio and Ep. ad Arm. in PG 46, 237-249, were the Alexandrian school’s last great continuers of referring the image to the Logos; but they also understood it as hypostasis, which was their innovation on the theme. Image was thus used as a distinction or hypostasis in the Trinity, with the consequence that not only the Word but the Trinity itself was thought of as an analogy for the human image, and the image of the human soul in particular Hom. Adtende tibi 81, 3. The Antiochene school, however, followed Irenaeus in placing the divine image in the whole person, not just in rationality; its polemical context, however, was more christological than anthropological. Latin Christendom, except for Tertullian, who was anchored to the Asiatic tradition, gravitated to Christian Platonism and the unity of the divine persons as human image as such. Humanity is made in the image of the whole Trinity, not just of one divine person Hilary of Poitiers, Augustine. In the reflections of the following centuries, this approach forever broke the link between anthropology and Christology. 4. Augustine. With Augustine, anthropology, previously linked to the doctrines of creation and Christology, was used to clarify every other problem. Humanity is no longer a microcosm in a cosmological scheme; the cosmos itself, and even God, become known by passing through humanity. Augustine’s anthropocentrism passed into textbooks as Augustinian interiority; in the manuals of the Or thodox Church, as the reduction of theology to anthropology. For Augustine, to confront the question of humanity means not so much to resolve it Conf. 4, 4,9; 10, 8,15 as to understand the nature and significance of the questions, and the authority capable of instructing us about them, i.e., Scripture Corr. et gratia 1,1. Rather than define humanity, therefore, Augustine describes human nature in relation to its end, which is God: his anthropology, consequently, never leaves God out of consideration. In the human composite of soul and body one of the wonders of the human mystery Civ. Dei 21,10 he distinguishes and emphasizes the diversity and roles of each De cont. 12,26; Ser. 154, 10,15 without devaluing them on Platonic lines Civ. Dei 13,16 and 24; De Gen. ad litt. 7, 27,38. In connection with the Pelagian polemic, Augustine developed the anthropological problem as freedom and image of the Trinity. In Civ. Dei he emphasized the human capacity for God our greatest capacity 12, 1,3, and in De trinitate our need for God our greatest need 14, 4,6 and 8, 11, which only God can fill Conf. 1, 1,1. In this way Augustine recovered Origen’s sense of image as a tendency toward the archetype, explaining it in a trinitarian way in that humanity, in composition as mens-notitia-amor or memoriaintelligentia-voluntas, is the image of the triune God. Mens implies relation to the Father, intelligentia or notitia to the Son Word-Truth, amor or voluntas to the Spirit Trin. 15, 3,5. Augustine also introduced the theme of image, linked to the theology of creation, into the category of history, i.e., of Adam and Christ as roots of humanity, thus linking the protological aspect of human creation Gen 1:26 and 2:7 to soteriology and eschatology. To recover one’s image means for Augustine to rediscover the way Christ incarnate and the possibility of traveling it, which in Augustinian anthropological terms is equivalent to restoring to human freedom, healed by the grace of Christ, the capacity to relate to God theme of De gr. et lib. arb. and Corr. et gratia. Grace and freedom pertain equally for him to God and to humanity, who walk together as friends in mutual help. Grace is understood as an auxilium, rather than rival, to freedom. This approach opposed the Pelagian conception of human autonomy humanity before God, not with God and the Platonic anthropology that held the soul alone to be the essential constituent of the human, and the body an element from which the human must be freed. After Augustine the model of grace as help of freedom was more and more replaced by the Pelagian model of freedom and grace facing each other, which led to the predestinationist theory that God decides human destinies. The theme of humanity as image of the Trinity, however, found a place in mysticism, as the communication of the soul with the Trinity. H. Schmidt, Die Anthropologie Philons von Alexandria, W¼rzburg 1933; L. Bieler, Theios Aner. Das Bild des gttlichen Menschen im Sp¤tantike und Fr¼hchristentum, Vienna 1935 I, 1936 II; G. Quispel, La conception de l’homme dans la gnose valentinienne: Eranos-Jb 15 1947 249-286; H. Karpp, Probleme altchr. Anthropologie, Bad Godesberg 1950; H. Merki, Homoiosis Theo, Freiburg i.d. Schw. 1952; R. Holte, Logos spermatikos : STh 12 1958 109-168; var. aus., J. Jerveli, Imago Dei Gen 1,26 im Sp¤tjudentum, in der Gnosis und in den paulinischen Briefen, Gttingen 1960; E. des Places, Syngeneia. La parent de l’homme avec Dieu: d’Hom¨re   la patristique, Paris 1964; J.H. Waszink, Bemerkungen zu Justins Lehre vom Logos Spermatikos, Mullus Festschr. Th. Klauser, Bonn 1964, 380-390; G. Mathon, L’anthropologie chrtienne en Occident de s. Augustin   Jean Scot Erig¨ne, Lille 1964 diss.; G. Giannini, Il problema antropologico. Linee di sviluppo storico-speculativo dai presocratici a S. Tommaso, Rome 1965; A. Orbe, Antropolog­a de san Ireneo, Madrid 1969; J. Ppin, Ides grecques sur l’homme et sur Dieu, Paris 1971; R. Morissette, L’antith¨se entre le psychique et le pneumatique en 1Cor 15,44   46: RSR 46 1972 97-143; L’uomo nella Bibbia e nelle culture ad essa contemporanee, Brescia 1975; J. Roldanus, Le Christ et l’homme dans la Thologie d’Athanase d’Alexandrie, Leiden 1977; U. Bianchi ed., La doppia creazione dell’uomo negli alessandrini, nei cappadoci e nella gnosi, Rome 1978; U. Bianchi ed., Arch¨ e Telos. L’antropologia di Origene e di Gregorio di Nissa. Analisi storico-religiosa, Milan 1981; M. Perrin, L’homme antique et chrtien. L’anthropologie de Lactance 250-325, Paris 1981; J. Lal, La antropolog­a de Tertulliano SEA 76, Rome 2001. On Augustine: E. Dinkler, Die Anthropologie Augustins, Stuttgart 1934; R.J. O’Connell, S. Augustine’s Early Theory of Man A.D. 386-391, Cambridge MA 1968; V. Grossi, L’antropologia agostiniana. Note previe: Augustinianum 22 1972 457-467; Id., La crisi antropologica nel monastero di Adrumeto: Augustinianum 19 1979 103-133; Id., L’antropologia cristiana negli scritti di Agostino gr. lib. arb.; corr. gratia: SSR 4 1980 89-113; Id., A proposito dei testi agostiniani sulla libert , Congresso Internazionale su St. Augustine. Atti II, Rome 1987, 281-293. majorfinder – the fun and easy way to find the perfect major travelquaz

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