Discuss how some aspects of Christian anthropology could serve as the foundation for a moral life
The development of humankind from a Christian perspective is grounded in the idea that humans are made in the image and likeness of God. Christian anthropology strives to provide explanations for human behaviour through a religious understanding. Christian anthropology transcends other anthropological divisions as it is descriptive, but additionally it is prescriptive in applying theological concepts to human life. Theology, being the study of the nature of God and religious beliefs, connects with anthropology, the development of humankind, to explore the foundations explicit to living a moral life as a Christian. Pope Paul VI said "while man extends his power in every direction, he does not always succeed in subjecting it on his own welfare."[footnoteRef:1] The ideas surrounding the Christian development of humankind will be discussed further in this essay. [1: Gaudium et spes: Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, promulgated by Pope Paul VI, 7 December 1965. ]
Analysis of Christian anthropology and theology are warranted to explore humanity and the Christian foundations for a moral life. St Paul considers the moral life in his letter to the Romans, "I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate" (Rom 7:15). His reflection foregrounds that humans must do as God requires and not act in their own interests. The issue of acting in the image of God is challenged through the human condition of suffering. This discussion will reflect on how humankind has suffered and more importantly why God would allow humans to suffer.
The word anthropology is derived from two Greek words, 'anthropos' meaning 'human' and 'logos' meaning 'thought.'[footnoteRef:2] Therefore the study of anthropology surrounds the development of humankind in society. Christians attempt to find God and understand God through human experiences based on love. The Trinity represents a life of love which Christians are called to. It conveys the image of love and foregrounds the eternal giving, receiving and exchange of love through the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit. The core beliefs of Christianity are outlined in 1 Cor 15:1-4. Christianity is based on Jesus Christ and his teachings. Jesus associates with all and demonstrates the equality present in the Kingdom. He spreads the message of God. After his crucifixion the eternal spirit of Jesus and God continues the message of the Kingdom. The spirit brings the reality of Jesus into the modern world; subsequently the Trinity acts as the united mechanism in which God communicates his love for the whole of humanity. [2: Nicholas Croce, Anthropology (Chicago, IL: Britannica Educational Publishing, 2016), 5. ] When Christian and anthropology are collated an understanding of the development of humankind from a Christian perspective is generated. According to Christian anthropology humanity is made in the im...