April Ross

Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Access Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


The image of God in Genesis 1:26-28, describes humankind as created in God’s image and according to his likeness. This understanding defines relationship between God and humankind, humankind among itself, and humankind and all of creation. The image of God associates with a community of people. Human weakness is central to understanding Christ and the church. All human bodies have weakness and limitation, which change over a person’s lifetime, emphasizing the need for community. The sameness of humankind to each other is more substantial than human bodily differences. Our culture scrutinizes human bodies and is continually categorizing, classifying, and assigning value to human differences. The result of this scrutinization is categories of sufficient and deficient. Those deemed deficient are historically excluded from the image of God by other humans. The image of God as relationship is good news to the poor. Weakness, limitation, and the state of their human body cannot disqualify a person from being in God’s image. This good news to the poor contradicts our cultural values of independence and mental capabilities of a Cartesian Self. The image of God asserts relationship with God, mutual giving to and receiving from others, and a role of stewarding creation regardless of the appearance and function of the human body.


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