What is Christian Anthropology?

In an effort to offer balance to this site’s old-testament leanings, I offer you the following:

Question: “What is Christian Anthropology?”

Answer: Anthropology is the study of humanity. Christian Anthropology is the study of humanity from a Christian / Biblical perspective. It is primarily focused on the nature of humanity – how the immaterial and material aspects of man relate to each other. Some common questions in Christian Anthropology are:

Christian Anthropology deals with who we are and how we relate to God. Whether a people are inherently good or inherently sinful is crucial in determining how our relationship with God can be restored. Whether the souls of human beings carry on after death determines in large part our view of our purpose in this world. Christian Anthropology helps us to understand ourselves, from God’s perspective.

A key verse on Christian Anthropology is Psalms 139:14, “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”

9 thoughts on “What is Christian Anthropology?

  1. Ah yes, this is another definition of anthropology that gets thrown around — although I’m more used to calling it ‘philosophical anthropology’. This is providing an account of the structure of Human Being from a theological-cum-philosophical viewpoint.

  2. Yes, but this is squarely in the realm of theology–nobody in the Div Schools I’ve hung around claims this anthropology has anything to do with fieldwork-based ethnography, writing poetry, surfing the web, or any of the other essential things* that define anthro.

    *“It is time that anthropologists owned up to doing much more than fieldwork in arriving at their idiosyncratic perspectives on the world. What else do we do? We write, teach, read widely, attend lectures, join discussion groups, criticize, make comparisons, watch television, listen to the radio, go to the movies, read newspapers, exchange messages; travel, surf the web; some of us actually count numbers, develop abstractions, study international languages, acquire historical perspectives, attempt scientific analysis, write poetry, make films and even sometimes think and reflect. We tell stories. What is mainly missing from the standard account is how these stories have shaped the trajectory of anthropology.”
    -Keith Hart, http://www.thememorybank.co.uk/publications/WARD

  3. Oh yes. I think the point of the FAQ was just to help disambiguate the term. Sometimes you get people Googling around looking for theology and end up here and Kerim wanted to make clear that despite the similar name, the fields are actually quite different.

  4. “the only current atheism is one that contemplates the reality of its Christian roots” Jean-Luc Nancy

  5. I think this site is a great idea. Christian anthropology is a topic that needs to be investigated. My fellow christians know exactly what I’m talking about. Some people have to see to believe so, as anthropologists, lets do the best we can to let the truth be shown.

Comments are closed.