What does it mean to be human? This unit introduces and examines the ways in which Christian theology has approached and understood the mysteries of human personhood. With attention to christology, the body, sexuality, childhood, ageing, death and more, students will learn to deepen and articulate their own developing theological anthropology.

Unit code: CT3005W

Unit status: Approved (New unit)

Points: 18.0

Unit level: Undergraduate Level 3

Unit discipline: Systematic Theology

Proposing College: Whitley College

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Learning outcomes


Identify and analyse a variety of ways that the Christian tradition has approached the question of our being human.


Evaluate where theological understandings of human personhood critically intersect with other theological commitments and experiences.


Articulate a coherent theological response to the question ‘What are human beings?’


Exhibit independent and critical responses for theological reflection on the question of human personhood.

Unit sequence

15 points in CT


Lectures, seminars, online (videos and/or MP3s of lectures, readings, fortnightly seminar discussion)

Indicative Bibliography

  • Anderson, Ray S. On Being Human: Essays in Theological Anthropology. Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1982.
  • Barth, Karl. Church Dogmatics III.2. Translated by Harold Knight, Geoffrey W. Bromiley, J. K.S. Reid and R. H. Fuller. Edited by Geoffrey W. Bromiley and Thomas F. Torrance. Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1960.
  • Buber, Martin. Between Man and Man. Translated by Ronald Gregor-Smith. London/New York: Routledge, 2002.
  • Gonzalez, Michelle A. Created in God’s Image: An Introduction to Feminist Theological Anthropology. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2007.
  • Grenz, Stanley J. The Social God and the Relational Self: A Trinitarian Theology of the Imago Dei. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2001.
  • Hall, Douglas John. Imaging God: Dominion as Stewardship. Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock, 2004.
  • Harrison, Nonna Verna. God’s Many-Splendored Image: Theological Anthropology for Christian Formation. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2010.
  • John Paul II. The Theology of the Body: Human Love in the Divine Plan. Boston: Pauline Books & Media, 1997.
  • Macquarrie, John. In Search of Humanity: A Theological and Philosophical Approach. London: SCM, 1982.
  • Moltmann-Wendel, Elisabeth. I Am My Body: New Ways of Embodiment. Translated by John Bowden. London: SCM Press, 1994.
  • Murphy, Nancey C. Bodies and Souls, or Spirited Bodies? Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006.
  • Schwarz, Hans. The Human Being: A Theological Anthropology. Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 2013.
  • Shults, Fount LeRon. Reforming Theological Anthropology: After the Philosophical Turn to Relationality. Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 2003.
  • World Council of Churches. Christian Perspectives on Theological Anthropology: A Faith and Order Study Document. Faith and Order Paper 199. Geneva: World Council of Churches, 2005.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)

2,500-word essay

0 50.0
Critical Review

1,500-word film review

0 25.0
Seminar or Tutorial

1,000-word seminar paper

0 25.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by John Capper on 30 Jul, 2015

Unit record last updated: 2019-04-11 12:59:48 +1000