Theologians working in theological anthropology often claim that Jesus reveals what it means to be “truly human,” but this often has little impact in their actual account of anthropology. ReSourcing Theological Anthropology addresses that lack by offering an account of why theological anthropology must begin with Christology. Building off his earlier study on how key theologians in church history have understood the relationship between Christology and theological anthropology, Cortez now develops a new proposal for theological anthropology and applies it to the theological situation today.
ReSourcing Theological Anthropology is divided into four sections. The first section explores the relevant Christological/anthropological biblical passages and unpacks how they inform our understanding of theological anthropology. The second section discusses the theological issues raised in the course of surveying the biblical texts. The third section lays out a methodological framework for how to construct a uniquely Christological anthropology. The final section builds on the first three sections and demonstrates the significance of Christology for understanding theological anthropology by applying the methodological framework to several pressing anthropological issues: gender and sexuality, race and ethnicity, and death and suffering.
Calvin famously claimed that there is no knowledge of self without knowledge of God. Barth amended the motion, insisting that there is no knowledge of God without knowledge of Christ. Cortez here extends the logic further, arguing that, theologically speaking, there is no knowledge of self apart from knowledge of the humanity of Christ. Christology does not simply supplement but constitutes the most important things we know about our own humanity. This is a bold claim, to be sure, yet Cortez clearly provides biblical grounding for it and anticipates the likely objections, thereby putting flesh on what many theologians thinly assume but never thickly describe–namely, how, why, and where Christology ought to inform anthropology. – Kevin J. Vanhoozer, Research Professor of Systematic Theology, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
If Jesus alone reveals what it is to be truly human, can there be an adequate anthropology that does not take its fundamental bearings from Jesus’s specific humanity? Was Adam’s humanity ultimately indecipherable, absent the revelation of the Second Adam? The specificity of Jesus’s male, Jewish humanity might seem to pose a further quandary. Professor Cortez’s lively and unfailingly gracious book is a delightful romp through such difficult questions, motivated by the joy of the Gospel. – Matthew Levering, James N. and Mary D. Perry Jr. Chair of Theology, Mundelein Seminary
Cortez is making a compelling case for a ‘comprehensive Christological anthropology,’ by which he means the normativity of the person of Jesus Christ for our understanding of human nature. Current on biblical scholarship, sensitive to contemporary issues such as gender, race, and sexuality, and exhibiting a remarkable analytical clarity, this is the perfect introduction to what is currently an exciting conversation in theology. – Adonis Vidu, associate professor of theology, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary
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