By L. Juliana Claassens, Klaas Spronk
Those essays, in line with collaboration among Dutch and South African theological faculties, think of the idea that of human dignity. Reflecting on either theoretical features and social ramifications, they discover how households and society fail to guard human lifestyles and dignity.
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Extra info for Fragile Dignity: Intercontextual Conversations on Scriptures, Family, and Violence
This should be read as confirming the doctrine of creation, according to which, in the eyes of the Creator, creation is “good,” and men and women are “very good” (Gen 1:4, 10, 12, 18, 21, 25, 31). Again, however, everything that follows from this collapses as soon as we try to escape from claiming, or suspecting, or hoping, that God in fact took on a human nature; that the divine being is in itself in fact not different from the God revealed in the Crucified One, that God is in fact the Creator, and that the world is in fact pleasing to God’s eyes.
Some scholars argue in favor of an early tolerant attitude toward the iconic representation of deities (Mettinger 1995); other scholars presume Israelite aniconism to be ancient (Schmidt 1990). The plundering Romans found no divine image when they sacked the Second Temple in Jerusalem, and the prohibition of cultic images probably goes back to vehement criticism of idols in Ezekiel and Deutero-Isaiah during the exile. This makes the probable coexistence of idol criticism and the formulation in the Priestly account of the creation of humankind in Gen 1 quite remarkable.
I completely agree with you that our dignity cannot be derived from our autonomy, if by autonomy we mean being in control of our lives. Autonomy is a good, something we may legitimately strive for (especially for others, or for one another), but it is not the basis of our dignity as human beings. For me, one implication of the doctrine of the incarnation is that the image of God is also reflected in our vulnerability and dependence, since 32 FRAGILE DIGNITY God willingly took on our dependent and vulnerable humanity, thereby revealing a deep mystery about the being of God (see Labooy 2002, 303– 5).