The human being and the world as God’s creation: Present-day ethical conflicts and consequences of the doctrine of creation in the perspective of the doctrine of justification

All the medical and bioethical questions, ranging from stem cell research to converging technologies and synthetic biology, touch on the question regarding the image of human beings and their position in the cosmos, by which we are able to orient ourselves. This article argues that the biblical beli...

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Published in: Hervormde teologiese studies Vol. 77; no. 3; pp. e1 - e9
Main Author: Körtner, Ulrich H.J
Format: Journal Article
Language: English
Afrikaans
Published: African Online Scientific Information Systems (Pty) Ltd t/a AOSIS 07-01-2021
AOSIS
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Summary: All the medical and bioethical questions, ranging from stem cell research to converging technologies and synthetic biology, touch on the question regarding the image of human beings and their position in the cosmos, by which we are able to orient ourselves. This article argues that the biblical belief in creation and the discourse about humans as created beings by and in the image of God can still be proclaimed as a viable form of human self-interpretation in the present. The distinction between practical knowledge and knowledge of orientation may be of help here. Guidance for how to live and act is not best found in abstract principles, but rather in meaningful stories, in metaphors and symbols. On this level, too, is also where faith in creation and the certainty of our own creatureliness is located.Contribution: This article interprets the doctrine of creation by a hermeneutical theology. It analyses the interdependence between hermeneutics and criticism in the process of reinterpreting the classical propositions about the human being and the world as God’s creation and the relation of anthropology and ethics. The aim is to show what might be the contribution of Christian faith in creation to the approach of an ethics of responsibility in the field of bioethics and ecology. The specific contribution of this article to current debates on an ethics of creation is the thesis that the key to a well-balanced theological approach to all this is the Pauline doctrine of justification as interpreted by the protestant reformers.
ISSN: 0259-9422
2072-8050
DOI: 10.4102/hts.v77i3.6491