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Reforming Theological Anthropology
After the Philosophical Turn to Relationality

POD; Published: 2/20/2003
ISBN: 978-0-8028-4887-1
Price: $ 37.50
278 Pages
Trim Size, in inches: 6 x 9
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With the profound changes in today's intellectual and scientific landscape, traditional ways of speaking about human nature, sin, and the image of God have lost their explanatory power. In this volume F.LeRon Shults explores the challenges to and opportunities for rethinking current religious views of humankind in contemporary Western culture.

From philosophy to theology, from physics to psychology, we find a turn to the categories of "relationality." Shults briefly traces this history from Aristotle to Levinas, showing its impact on the Christian doctrine of anthropology, and he argues that the biblical understanding of humanity has much to contribute to today's dialogue on persons and on human becoming in relation to God and others. Shults's work stands as a potent effort to reform theological anthropology in a way that restores its relevance to contemporary interpretations of the world and our place in it.

Ray S. Anderson
"This stunning book places F. LeRon Shults as one of the brightest stars to appear in the galaxy of contemporary scholars. Displaying an erudition that at times is breathtaking, Shults is as much at home with the ancient Greek philosophers, the patristic theologians, the medieval scholastics, and the sixteenth-century reformers as he is with modern theologians and more recent developments in the social sciences and developmental psychology. This book creates a new frontier for the integration of psychological and philosophical approaches to understanding human personhood as ontological, existential, and relational being. Shults exposes underlying cracks in the foundation of classical theological anthropology, based as it is on a substantive dualistic metaphysics. In offering a carefully nuanced reformulation of the traditional doctrines of human nature, original sin, and the image of God based on a relational anthropology and a dynamic eschatology, this book is truly groundbreaking. A must-read for all who aspire to be theologians of the church and those who dare to say they are."
Philip Clayton
"A work of breathtaking scope, F. LeRon Shults's new book combines an impressive mastery of the primary sources with an unfailing clarity of exposition. The result is a significant contribution to theological anthropology worthy of study both as a textbook and in its own right. Perhaps here and there a loose end remains; taken as a whole, though, this book offers an impressive overview of what it means to be made 'in the image of God' and to understand humanity in light of Christian revelation. "
J. Wentzel van Huyssteen
"F. LeRon Shults has written a profoundly challenging book that clearly demonstrates his deep conviction that the Reformed theological tradition has the inner strength and vitality to rise to contemporary interdisciplinary challenges in ways that we could hardly have imagined before. Shults argues successfully that Christian theology now has the opportunity and obligation to rethink the Christian understanding of human nature. His explorations of the conceptual space of theological anthropology culminate in a revisioning of its three traditional loci: human nature, sin, and the image of God. This book not only will enrich current dialogue among theologians but also will resonate with scientists and philosophers who are challenged by ongoing debates about human uniqueness and the emergence of consciousness. "
"In this erudite and original work, Shults explores the implications of the turn to relationality for theological anthropology. . . This is a thought-provoking work that advances Reformed theology. . . Recommended."