What does it mean to be human and to be made in the image of God? What does it mean to be a ‘person?’ What constitutes a human person? What does it mean to affirm that humans are free beings? And, what is gender? Marc Cortez guides the reader through the most challenging issues that face anyone attempting to deal with the subject of theological anthropology. Consequently, it addresses complexities surrounding such questions as: Each chapter explains first both why the question under consideration is important for theological anthropology and why it is also a contentious issue within the field. After this, each chapter surveys and concisely explains the main options that have been generated for resolving that particular question. Finally the author presents to the reader one way of working through the complexity. These closing sections are presented as case studies in how to work through the problems and arrive at a conclusion than as definitive answers. Nonetheless, they offer a convincing way of answering the questions raised by each chapter.
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The study of theological anthropology raises notoriously difficult issues. In this very well-informed book, Marc Cortez addresses some of the toughest of these issues, and he does so in a way that is not only clear-headed and insightful but also scrupulously fair and gracious. Without trying to ‘solve’ all difficulties, he lays out the options, evaluates relative strengths and weaknesses, and points the way forward.
—Thomas McCall, Associate Professor of Biblical and Systematic Theology
Cortez provides an accessible, broad and penetrating inttroduction to several key ideas in the area of theological anthropology. Continuing the emphasis of the ‘Guides for the Perplexed’ series, Cortez chooses four pillars around which to construct his introduction to what it means to be human: imago dei, sexuality, mind and body and free will.
—Kyle Strobel, University of Aberdeen
Marc Cortez (PhD, University of St. Andrews) is Assistant Professor of Theology at Western Seminary in Portland, Oregon, USA.