Anthropology: Seeking Light and Beauty [NOOK Book]


What does it mean to be human in the twenty-first century? Susan Ross explores this question through the lens of human desires: for God, freedom, knowledge, love, and pleasure, but also for power, consumer goods, self-gratification, and money. She addresses issues relatively new to our day, including those raised by feminism, social fragmentation, new social evils, and contemporary science.
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Anthropology: Seeking Light and Beauty

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What does it mean to be human in the twenty-first century? Susan Ross explores this question through the lens of human desires: for God, freedom, knowledge, love, and pleasure, but also for power, consumer goods, self-gratification, and money. She addresses issues relatively new to our day, including those raised by feminism, social fragmentation, new social evils, and contemporary science.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

What stands out in this fantastic introductory volume to theological anthropology is the myriad of voices that Ross effectively encompasses in her narrative, including Anselm, Thomas Aquinas, Augustine, Lonergan, Rahner, Schillebeeckx, and David Tracy. [This book] is highly recommended as an introductory volume to theological anthropology, and appropriate as source material for an undergraduate course regarding anthropology or moral theology. It is well-written, concise, and adequately sourced.
Robert P. Russo, Lourdes University

Professor Ross deftly weaves wisdom from classical Christian sources together with insights from contemporary thinkers to form a tapestry that inspires us to think courageously about what it means to be a human being today. Her commitment to the values of truth and justice is evident throughout, and so are her wide-ranging knowledge, her profound Catholic faith, her esteem for science and the arts, and her engaging style of presentation. This is a splendid text, designed to appeal to a wide range of readers!
Anne E. Patrick, William H. Laird Professor of Religion and the Liberal Arts, emerita, Carleton College

Embracing challenges that emerge from modern and postmodern culture, gender studies, the natural and human sciences, studies of trauma and violence, and technology, Ross remains convinced that the Christian tradition has wisdom to offer to all those who continue to ponder the meaning of being human. With clarity and grace, she offers a splendid overview of theological anthropology and its contemporary challenges. Anthropology: Seeking Light and Beauty is an invitation to join in a lively conversation about the future of humankind in relation to God and to all of creation.
Mary Catherine Hilkert, Professor of Theology, University of Notre Dame

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814680001
  • Publisher: Liturgical Press, The
  • Publication date: 6/1/2012
  • Series: Engaging Theology: Catholic Perspectives
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 160
  • Sales rank: 924,095
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

Susan A. Ross is a professor and chair of the theology department at Loyola University Chicago. She is a vice-president and member of the Board of Editors of Concilium, the international theological journal. She is the author of Extravagant Affections: A Feminist Sacramental Theology (1998) and For the Beauty of the Earth: Women, Sacramentality, and Justice (2006).
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Table of Contents

Editor's Preface ix

Preface and Acknowledgments xi

Chapter 1 Ancient Resources on Being Human 1

Biblical Resources 1

Interpreting the Bible 1

Some Biblical Narratives 4

Jesus as Exemplar 9

Paul 12

Early Christianity on Being Human 13

Gnosticism, Irenaeus, and Early Christian Martyrs 14

Asceticism 16

Platonism and Origen 19

Augustine 20

Conclusion 24

Chapter 2 Resources from the Medieval and Reformation Periods 27

Medieval Thought 27

Monasticism and Learning 27

Monasticism and Living One's Faith 32

The Desire for God 33

Scholasticism and Thomas Aquinas 36

The Reformation 39

Martin Luther 40

John Calvin 42

The Council of Trent 44

Women in the Reformation 45

Conclusion 46

Chapter 3 Resources from Modernity 47

The Desire for Knowledge 48

Descartes 49

Hume and Kant 51

Nineteenth-Century Developments 53

The Desire for Freedom 56

Slaves, Women, and Personhood 57

The "Masters of Suspicion" 61

Karl Marx 61

Sigmund Freud 62

Conclusion / Twentieth-Century Issues 65

Chapter 4 Christian Selfhood and Postmodernity 67

Characteristics of Postmodern Selfhood 69

Fragmentation and Plurality 69

Social and Historical Relativity 70

The Linguistic Turn 71

Otherness 72

Ambiguity 74

Christian Theological Engagement with Postmodernity 75

Edward Schillebeeckx and "Anthropological Constants" 76

Jan-Olav Henriksen and the Other 78

Karl Rahner and the Desire for God 81

Concluding Reflections on the Postmodern Self 83

Chapter 5 The Beauty of Embodiment: Body and Sexuality 85

The Body 87

Sex 94

Sex and Traditional Catholic Theology 94

Sexuality and Contemporary Theological Anthropology 98

The Theology of the Body 99

Margaret Farley and "Just Love" 102

Sex and Sexual Variation 104

Conclusion 104

Chapter 6 The Human Capacity for Evil and the Hope for Salvation 109

The Human Capacity for and Propensity to Evil 111

Human Beings, the Sciences, and Evil 112

René Girard's Theory of Violence and Mimetic Desire 114

Understanding the Perpetrators of Evil 116

Victims of Evil 123

Trauma Victims 124

Social Trauma 127

Witnesses to Evil 130

Chapter 7 Theology, Science, and Human Personhood 133

What Makes Us the Imago Dei? 135

Animals and Human Beings 139

Human Beings and the World around Us 141

Neuroscience and the Human 144

Technology, Medicine, and the Human Person 148

Conclusion 152

Conclusion: Seeking Light and Beauty 155

Index 163

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