1. bookVolume 19 (2021): Issue 2 (June 2021)
    Fundamental Aspects of Christological Anthropology: Theological and Philosophical Perspectives in Contemporary Debates. Editor: Christopher G. Woznicki
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20 Sep 2012
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English
access type Open Access

Colin E. Gunton’s Christological Anthropology: Humanity’s Relationships in the Image of Christ

Published Online: 24 Jun 2021
Page range: 63 - 81
Journal Details
License
Format
Journal
First Published
20 Sep 2012
Publication timeframe
2 times per year
Languages
English
Abstract

The anthropology of Colin E. Gunton begins with the Trinity and specifically, the person of Christ. From trinitarian persons, Gunton deduces the ontological definition of what it means to be a person, that is, a being in relationship and in distinction, or ‘free relatedness’. To be a person is to be in the image of the personal God, which is christological language, for it is Christ who bears the image of God in its fullness. As the true image bearer, Christ’s humanity is paradigmatic of what it means to be in relationship: with God, with the world and with other human persons. Gunton’s christology is also thoroughly pneumatological, borrowing Irenaeus’ metaphor of God’s ‘two hands in the world’: The Son and the Spirit. Not only do the Son and the Spirit mediate God’s presence to creation according to Irenaeus, but Gunton builds on this metaphor to include the Spirit’s mediation of the eternal Son to the Father as well as the Incarnate Son to humanity. The Spirit also reshapes humanity to be in the image of Christ, through his relationships with God, with the world and with other human persons. This is an eschatological project, for in this reshaping, the creation is recreated toward its teleological perfection. The article concludes with a potential direction for future study within Gunton’s christological anthropology. To conceive what it means to be human theologically, Gunton insists that we must look to Christ’s own person.

Keywords

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