Christianity in Jewish Terms

By Tikva Frymer-Kensky; David Novak et al. | Go to book overview

Fall can be appreciated when they are taken as a metaphor for the deficiencies of the "fallen universe." The concepts of "image of God" and "imitation of God," particularly in their modern manifestations, present a sense of human nature, purpose, and destiny that can provide common ground for mutual understanding and mission. They provide a basis for understanding and appreciating the closeness of Judaism and Christianity, a basis that does not at the same time serve to "otherize" nonmonotheist religions. Unfortunately, this shared philosophy of the "image of God" is not often recognized. Christians speak of the image of God and the imitation of God as if these were uniquely Christian developments that derived directly from Genesis 1; Jews often speak of tselem elohim as an exclusively Jewish way of appreciating the dignity and sacredness of human life. It is important to realize the significance of these concepts in both Judaism and Christianity and the fact that the development of these concepts often took place with mutual cross-fertilization. Embracing a joint religious humanism should enable us to continue to enrich each other in an increasingly open and mutually inclusive way.


Tselem: Toward an
Anthropopathic Theology of Image

DAVID R. BLUMENTHAL


The Problem: God's Image and God-Language

"If we are created in God's image (tselem), what is God like?" Theologians and psychologists alike ask this question, but their answers couldn't be more different.

Secular psychologists, together with secular philosophers, say that we humans create God in our own image. They maintain that we con

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