The Samford University Department of Biblical and Religious Studies along with the Samford University Department of Christian Ministry and Beeson Divinity School will partner with the Henry Center's Creation Project to host this conference on theological anthropology.
Throughout the biblical witness, humanity is consistently depicted as occupying a unique location within the rest of creation. Humanity was created “a little lower than the angels,” as the Psalmist puts it, yet “crowned with glory and honor.” In Genesis humanity alone is said to be “very good,” made in the image and likeness of God, and given dominion over the rest of creation. These depictions ground the Christian understanding of humanity’s place in the cosmos. What the Bible takes for granted is a point of debate in modern, scientific thought and a focal point in the science-theology discussions. Differences between humanity and other animals has been replaced with an emphasis on similarities.
This conference aims to promote interdisciplinary conversation on theological anthropology in the twenty-first century. Scripture portrays humans as both lowly in stature—composed from dust—while also unique in creation in bearing the likeness and image of God. Christians throughout history have tended to emphasize what distinguishes humans from the rest of creation, reflecting our role as stewards of creation. The sciences, by contrast, tend to emphasize the strong similarities that humans have with the rest of nature. Can these differing ways of understanding human nature be reconciled? How might science help better articulate and place constraints on the way Christians talk of human uniqueness?
Angela Carpenter–Assistant Professor of Religion, Hope College
Marc Cortez-Professor of Theology, Wheaton College
Loren Haarsma–Associate Professor of Physics and Astronomy, Calvin University
Ken Keathley–Senior Professor of Theology and Jesse Hendley Chair of Theology, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
Amy Peeler-Associate Professor of New Testament, Wheaton College
Jeffrey Schloss–T.B. Walker Chair & Distinguished Professor of Biology, Westmont College
Joshua Swamidass–Associate Professor of Laboratory and Genomic Medicine, Washington University
Phil Woodward–Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Valparaiso University, and Research Fellow, Henry Center for Theological Understanding
Tickets are now on sale. Early bird rate is $35 and expires Dec. 15. General admission tickets are $50 and go on sale Dec. 16. Samford students can attend at the discounted price of $25. Register here.