Saturday, 8 October 2005

Eberhard Jüngel's theological anthropology

Michael Jensen has been posting on theological anthropology, which has prompted me to offer a brief series on Eberhard Jüngel's theological anthropology. First, let me try to summarise Jüngel's approach.

Jüngel follows Barth in grounding anthropology in christology. Barth has been routinely criticised for this christological grounding (some critics have ominously labelled it "christomonism"). A significant part of Jüngel's achievement is to provide a powerful vindication of Barth's approach.

For Jüngel, the theme of all theology is the distinction between God and humanity. In other words, his whole theology aims to let God really be God and to let humanity really be human. But Jüngel claims that it is God himself who makes the distinction between God and humanity, and God makes this distinction in the death of Jesus. God identifies himself with the dead Jesus. This event of identification is God's humanity—and it is precisely this event of the humanity of God which distinguishes God from humanity. To put it another way: our true humanity is established outside ourselves in the event of the death of Jesus, which is itself the event of the justification of the godless.

It seems to me that Jüngel's theological anthropology convincingly demonstrates that the grounding of humanity in christology does not undermine genuine humanity, as critics of Barth claim. Rather this christological grounding establishes the true humanness of humanity.

1 Comment:

B.J. Ku said...

Thank you for the lesson

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