Body Parts: A Theological Anthropology

Body Parts: A Theological Anthropology

by Michelle Voss Roberts


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Christians have traditionally claimed that humans are created in the image of God (imago Dei), but they have consistently defined that image in ways that exclude people from full humanity. The most well-known definition locates the image in the rational soul, which is constructed in such a way that women, children, and many persons with disabilities are found deficient.Body Parts claims the importance of embodiment, difference, and limitation--not only as descriptions of the human condition but also as part of the imago Dei itself. This thesis is inspired by a parallel claim in an Indian tradition that posits the reflection of the divine body in humanity. Its thirty-six parts invite Christians to consider how consciousness, limitations, mental and emotional capacities, organs of sensation and action, and elements are reflections of divinity. Each chapter pursues openings in the Christian theological tradition in order to imagine these sets of "body parts" as the image of God.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781506418568
Publisher: Augsburg Fortress, Publishers
Publication date: 12/01/2017
Pages: 232
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Michelle Voss Roberts is associate dean for academic affairs and associate professor of theology at Wake Forest University School of Divinity. Her earlier books include Tastes of the Divine: Hindu and Christian Theologies of Emotion (2014), which received the Award for Excellence in the Study of Religion (Constructive/Reflective Studies) from the American Academy of Religion.

Table of Contents

Abbreviations ix

A Note on Diacritics xi

Acknowledgments xiii

Preface xvii

Introduction xxiii

1 The Conscious Body 1

2 The Limited Body (Part 1) 29

3 The Limited Body (Part 2) 53

4 The Subjective Body 77

5 The Engaged Body 101

6 The Elemental Body 125

Epilogue: The Eschatological Body 151

Bibliography 159

Index 173

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