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Rethinking the Human Being in Light of Evolutionary Biology

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For the sake of its own enrichment and relevance, Christian anthropology today must be informed by what we are learning from the biosciences, including the theory of biological evolution. The two quite different paradigms of theology and biology should be seen as complementary to each other, with theology recognizing the biological foundation of human nature. This necessitates a repudiation of the traditional body/soul dualism and re-conceptualizing the concept of soul as a metaphorical expression rather than a spiritual entity. It affirms the spiritual dimension of human life that relates us to God and neighbor. Biblical scholarship affirms this psychosomatic, holistic view of the human being.
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Keywords: biological evolution; body/soul dualism; human nature; image of God; relationship (humans as relational beings)

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Paul Jersild is professor emeritus of theology and ethics at Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary, Columbia, SC. Among his publications is Spirit Ethics: Scripture and the Moral Life (Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress, 2000).

Publication date: March 1, 2008

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