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HLT 302 Topic 3 Discussion Question Two

HLT 302 Topic 3 Discussion Question Two

 

What is the Christian concept of the imago dei? How might it be relevant to health care and why is it important?

The Image of God (Hebrew: צֶלֶם אֱלֹהִים‎, romanized: tzelem elohim; Latin: Imago Dei) is a concept and theological doctrine in Judaism,[1] Christianity, and some Sufi sects of Islam,[2][3] which asserts that human beings are created in the image and likeness of God. Philosophers and theologians have debated the exact meaning of the phrase for millennia. Following Jewish tradition, scholars such as Saadia Gaon and Philo argued that being made in the Image of God does not mean that God possesses human-like features, but rather that the statement is figurative language for God bestowing special honor unto humankind, which He did not confer unto the rest of Creation. Likewise, Maimonides argues that it is consciousness and the ability to speak which is the “image of God;” both faculties which differentiate mankind from animals, and allow man to grasp abstract concepts and ideas that are not merely instinctual.

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In Christian thought, the Image of God that was present in Adam at creation was partially lost with the Fall of man and that through the atoning sacrifice of Jesus on the cross, humans can be reunited with God. Christian writers have stated that despite the Image of

HLT 302 Topic 3 Discussion Question Two

HLT 302 Topic 3 Discussion Question Two

God being partially lost, each person fundamentally has value regardless of class, race, gender or disability. Although the varying interpretations of the exact meaning of being made in the, “Image of God,” are many, the concept is a foundational doctrine of Christianity and Judaism.

The phrase “image of God” is found in three passages in the Hebrew Bible, all in the Book of Genesis 1–11:

Gen 1:26–28

And God said: ‘Let us make man in our image/b’tsalmeinu, after our likeness/kid’muteinu; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.’ And God created man in His image, in the image of God He created him, male and female created He them. And God blessed them; and God said to them: ‘Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that creepeth upon the earth.’

Gen 5:1–3

This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made He him. Male and female created He them, and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created. And Adam lived a hundred and thirty years, and begot a son in his own likeness, after his image; and called his name Seth.

Gen 9:6

One who spills the blood of man, through/by man, his blood will be spilled, for in God’s image/tselem He made man.

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