THE CONCEPT OF THE IMAGO DEI: COHERENCE WITH EVOLUTIONARY SCIENCE?
AbstractGen 1:26-27 has traditionally been interpreted as implying that humankind was uniquely created in the image of God. However, cumulative scientific developments following on Darwin’s theory of evolution have conclusively proved the evolutionary and genetic continuity between more ancient forms of life and homo sapiens sapiens. Wentzel van Huyssteen poses the question whether the “heart of the tradition” of the imago Dei can be recovered and revisioned? This article considers firstly what the image of God of the original author of Gen 1:26-27 was, and secondly whether such a concept could be coherent with our current scientific knowledge. To address the first question, the exegesis as understood by an author who lived as close as possible to the time of origin of the text, viz. Philo of Alexandria, is examined. The second question is approached by means of the post-foundationalist interdisciplinary epistemology as advocated by Van Huyssteen.
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