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Systematic Theology (Revelation, Tradition, and Doctrine): Anthropology

Systematic theology undertakes the task of a comprehensive and synthetic understanding of the Christian faith as mediated through the Scriptures and the Catholic Tradition and as interpreted by Church Councils and Papal Magisterium.


Theological anthropology concerns humans beings and their relationship with God. It addresses humans as created in the image of God, with a special qualitative relation to God compared to other species. Sin is the corruption of the relation, indicating that humans are constitutionally opposed to God. Theological anthropology also deals with the restoration of the human relationship with God through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Theological anthropology can, but need not be carried out in dialogue with other disciplines studying different aspects of humanity, and it can offer a theological framework for the interpretation of these. Scientific contributions claiming to have positive bearings on a religious understanding of humanity usually relate to the doctrinal content of theological anthropology.

From: "Theological Anthropology." Encyclopedia of Science and Religion. Ed. Ray Abruzzi and Michael J. McGandy. Macmillan-Thomson Gale, 2003.

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Human nature is intrinsically good, although it has been corrupted by sin. The purpose of existence is to attain salvation through God's grace.