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Karl Barth's Relational View of Imago Dei Essay

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“26 Then God said, ‘Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness...27 So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.’” Genesis 1:26a, 1:27
The stories which humans tell about their origins are always cherished and held in high regard. In fact, no culture has existed which has not created or attempted to create some story of origins. Every culture has had some means in which to say this is where we came from. Especially in cultures where religion found itself prevalent, the mythology of origins became not only a status or anthropology but also a theology. In which case, we find that Christianity is not alone in this struggle, though our struggle may be unique in kind. For our case, we find that the foundation of theology, specifically practical theology, finds its basis in our story of creation and origination. “One of the central affirmations of the Christian faith is the claim that human beings are created in the image of God.” Because the creation story, as cited above, claims that humanity was made in the image or likeness of God, and we affirm that the Bible is the witness to Christ, who being in human form was also made in the image of God, then it is logical to conclude that the theology of human nature rests on this imago dei and therefore the discussion of Karl Barth’s relational view of imago is critical to dissect in order for a reasonable theology to be constructed.
Humans are not by nature meant to be unsociable or alone. Rather, “being truly human and living in community are inseparable.” The very essence of human existence relies upon the communal rather than the individualistic. For humans, the only way that a person can become a complet...


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...nald, Nathan. "The imago Dei and election: reading Genesis 1:26-28 and Old Testament scholarship with Karl Barth." International Journal of Systematic Theology 10, no. 3 (July 1, 2008): 303-327. ATLA Religion Database with ATLASerials, EBSCOhost (accessed April 25, 2011).

Migliore, Daniel L. Faith Seeking Understanding: An Introduction to Christian Theology. 2 ed. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans Pub Co, 2004.

Nengean, Isaiah Gesa. "The imago Dei as the imago Trinitatis: an analysis of Jürgen Moltmann's doctrine of the image of God." Westminster Theological Journal 71, no. 2 (September 1, 2009): 490-318. ATLA Religion Database with ATLASerials, EBSCOhost (accessed April 25, 2011).

Sands, Paul Francis. "The imago Dei as vocation." Evangelical Quarterly 82, no. 1 (January 1, 2010): 28-41. ATLA Religion Database with ATLASerials, EBSCOhost (accessed April 25, 2011).


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