On Thinking The Human

Paperback (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from BN.com
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $3.96
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 77%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (16) from $3.96   
  • New (7) from $11.92   
  • Used (9) from $3.96   


Since Socrates, the effort to understand ourselves precisely as human has been the central occupation of Western thought. In this profound treatise Robert Jenson shows that all philosophical attempts to accurately think the self are doomed to failure and that the category "human" is itself unthinkable without reference to God.

As Jenson says at the outset of his book, the problem of anthropology is that the very concepts we need to use when we talk about ourselves as human resist being thought. On Thinking the Human explains why this is so. Under chapter titles that reflect the problem's different facets - "Thinking Death," "Thinking Consciousness," "Thinking Freedom," "Thinking Reality," "Thinking Wickedness," and "Thinking Love" - Jenson limns the difficulty inherent in each concept and then shows how the unthinkable becomes thinkable in light of the triune God of Scripture.

Carefully constructed and skillfully worded, On Thinking the Human will be valued by anyone reflecting deeply on what it means to be human.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Is the doctrine of the Trinity an abstruse theological nicety with no import outside of Christian dogmatics? Jenson (Ctr. of Theological Inquiry, Princeton, NJ) argues that, on the contrary, only Trinitarianism can render intelligible six concepts (death, consciousness, freedom, reality, wickedness, and love) central to our understanding of human nature. The book's brevity, informal tone, and occasional pop-culture references may appeal to the lay reader, but it is nevertheless a serious academic work that uses the ideas of canonical philosophers and theologians as a springboard for Jenson's own bold, ingenious, occasionally mystifying arguments. Traditionalist Christians might appreciate some of the striking conclusions, e.g., that "there is no test [that a being is conscious] but to preach the gospel, and see if he or she can believe or reject it," but others may feel that it is ultimately futile to attempt a resolution of paradoxes by appealing to a doctrine that even its most intelligent adherents admit is an ineffable mystery. Nevertheless, for its original and thought-provoking approach to a thorny concept, this book is highly recommended for libraries with collections in philosophical theology and suitable for others with adventurous readers.-Charles Seymour, Wayland Baptist Univ. Lib., Plainview, TX Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802821140
  • Publisher: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing
  • Publication date: 7/1/2003
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 100
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.24 (d)

Table of Contents

Thinking Death 1
Thinking Consciousness 16
Thinking Freedom 32
Thinking Reality 46
Thinking Wickedness 59
Thinking Love 74
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)