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Keywords:

  • Thomas Aquinas;
  • cognitive psychology;
  • Gerd Gigerenzer;
  • holism;
  • imago Dei;
  • Robert W. Jenson;
  • Daniel Kahneman;
  • Ian McGilchrist;
  • rationality;
  • theological anthropology

Abstract

There is a pervasive trend in Western theology to identify imago Dei with human intellectual and cognitive capacities. However, several contemporary theologians have criticized this view because, according to the critics, it leads to a truncated view of humanity. In this article, I shall concentrate on the question of rationality, first, through theologies of Thomas Aquinas and contemporary Lutheran Robert Jenson, and second, in some branches of recent cognitive psychology. I will argue that there is a significant overlap between contemporary scientific interpretations of rationality and both a traditional Thomistic view and a contemporary ecumenical interpretation of imago Dei. Consequently, it is possible to give an account of imago Dei which takes structural features as central and which is in accord with contemporary science, without falling prey to the dangers that the critics of structuralism point out.