Made in the Image of God: Being Human in the Christian Tradition

by Michael Fuller and David Jasper (editors), et al.

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Format: Paperback (288 pages)

Publisher: Sacristy Press

Date of Publication:

ISBN: 978-1-78959-170-5

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​The question of our humanity has never been more pressing or uncertain. As human beings, is our nature simply biological? What is the place of philosophy and theology in determining our self-understanding? Are we dependent on our relationships with one another? Are we creatures created by God? Is our physical death an end of our being?

Essays written by twelve leading scholars in fields such as biblical studies, theology and science address the question of what it is to be human, made in the image of God, and thereby make a wide-ranging contribution to the field of theological anthropology.

Contributors: Michael Fuller, David Jasper, Nicholas Taylor, John Reuben Davies, Trevor Hart, Robert Gillies, John McLuckie, Harriet Harris, Delyth M. Reid, Margaret B. Adam, Eric Stoddart, Alison Jasper. See biographies below.

The Doctrine Committee of the Scottish Episcopal Church is to be commended for this volume where a range of authors explore what it means to be a human being in the modern world. From within a spectrum of perspectives questions of how, over centuries, humans have considered themselves to be ‘different’, ‘special’, even ‘unique’ creatures are examined. The authors face up to change and evolution in western understandings of Homo sapiens viewing human beings from perspectives both traditional and contemporary, theological and secular. That each chapter is accompanied by further reading and questions makes it additionally rich both for individuals and reading groups alike.

The Most Revd Stephen Cottrell, Archbishop of York

Being made in the image of God means living and loving in creative relationship with God, neighbor, and creation itself. This volume offers an imaginative and faithful opportunity to challenge and re-shape theological conversation in and beyond ‘church’. It includes provocative questions for reflection and/or discussion – many worthy of expansive, life-long wrestling.

The Rt Revd Dr Katharine Jefferts Schori, XXVI Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church

These essays are reminiscent of W. H. Auden’s poem ‘The Three Wiseman’, in seeking to discover what it is to be human. They try to make sense of what that means in relationship to God, Jesus and the whole created order by drawing on many different disciplines and traditions, in insightful, profound, and original, if demanding ways.

The Rt Revd Dr Barry Morgan, former Archbishop of Wales

Made in the Image of God offers a multi-faceted and multi-disciplinary exploration of the opportunities of human living and dying in response to a world of divine resonance.

I commend both the breadth and the depth of these essays. Together they make a kaleidoscope of analysis engaging, often more through probing questions than through ready answers, with a creation that in its totality needs to look at itself afresh in terms of mutuality, justice and compassion.

Scientific and philosophical perspectives combine with Biblical and theological approaches to provide a window of honesty on Christian doctrine today.

The Most Revd Dr Michael Jackson, Archbishop of Dublin


Margaret B. Adam lives at St Stephen’s House, Oxford, where she is Visiting Tutor for Contemporary Christian Ethics. She has previously taught theology and ethics at Loyola University Maryland, the University of Glasgow, the Scottish Episcopal Institute, and the University of Chester. Currently, she is the postdoctoral researcher for the three-year AHRC-funded project, the Christian Ethics of Farmed Animal Welfare, which has recently produced a free policy framework for Christian institutions: see

John Davies is Research Fellow in the College of Arts, University of Glasgow and teaches in Theology and Religious Studies. His fields include the history of the medieval Church in Great Britain and Ireland and the history and practice of Christian worship. He is a member of the Liturgy Committee of the Scottish Episcopal Church and teaches liturgy and worship in the Scottish Episcopal Institute.

David Fergusson has recently taken up the post of Regius Professor of Divinity at the University of Cambridge. He was previously Professor of Divinity at the University of Edinburgh (2000–21). He is author of The Providence of God (Cambridge University Press, 2018).

Michael Fuller is Senior Teaching Fellow at New College, University of Edinburgh, where he works in the field of science and religion. He has written a book and more than thirty articles relating to this field and is Lead Editor of the “Issues in Science and Theology” series (Springer). He has also published papers exploring theological themes in literature and in music and is a regular contributor to the Wagner Journal. He is an Honorary Canon of St Mary’s Cathedral, Edinburgh.

Robert Gillies was Bishop of Aberdeen and Orkney in the Scottish Episcopal Church until his retirement in 2016. He is an Honorary Research Fellow in the University of Glasgow. With Liz, his wife, he lives in north-east Fife. His recent publications include Guilt and Forgiveness: A Study in the Thought and Personality of Paul Ricoeur (Handsel Press, 2019), and The Approaching Word: A Companion to Reading New Testament Epistles in Sequence (Handsel Press, 2020).

Harriet Harris MBE is University Chaplain and Head of Chaplaincy Service at the University of Edinburgh. She is Honorary Fellow of the Divinity School at Edinburgh, the Co-Director of the Global Compassion Initiative, and Associate Fellow of the Clinical Educator Programme at Edinburgh. Her publications include Fundamentalism and Evangelicals (Oxford University Press, 1998, 2008) and Faith and Philosophical Analysis (Ashgate, 2005).

Trevor Hart is Rector of St Andrew’s, St Andrew’s in the Diocese of St Andrew’s, Dunkeld and Dublane, and Honorary Professor of Divinity in the University of St Andrew’s. He was awarded his PhD by the University of Aberdeen. His recent publications include Between the Image and the Word: Theological Engagements with Imagination, Language and Literature (Ashgate, 2013). He is a member of the Doctrine Committee of the Scottish Episcopal Church, and is Canon Theologian of St Ninian’s Cathedral, Perth.

Alison Jasper was Senior Lecturer in Religion and Feminist Studies at the University of Stirling. She was awarded her PhD by the University of Glasgow. Her recent publications include Because of Beauvoir: Christianity and the Cultivation of Female Genius (Baylor, 2013). She has served on the Liturgy Committee of the Scottish Episcopal Church.

David Jasper is Emeritus Professor at the University of Glasgow where he was formerly Professor of Literature and Theology. He was Changjiang Chair Professor at Renmin University of China, Beijing. He is Convenor of the Doctrine Committee of the Scottish Episcopal Church and Canon Theologian of St Mary’s Cathedral, Glasgow. His recent publications include Literature and Theology as a Grammar of Assent (Ashgate, 2016) and The Language of Liturgy (SCM Press, 2018).

John McLuckie is Rector of Old St Paul’s Church in Edinburgh and an Associate Tutor of the Scottish Episcopal Institute where he teaches Spirituality and Discipleship. He is also Convenor of the Scottish Episcopal Church’s Inter-Church Relations Committee.

Delyth M. Reid was Staff Scientist at the Institute of Medical Sciences in the University of Aberdeen. She has over forty publications in photoreceptor research, autoimmunity and immunology. She is a member of the Doctrine Committee of the Scottish Episcopal Church.

Eric Stoddart teaches practical theology in the School of Divinity of the University of St Andrews in Scotland. He is a co-founder of the international Surveillance & Religion Network which promotes research into ways in which religious communities are subject to monitoring and how such communities use systems of data collection and analysis. Having taught on the Open University’s first wholly online course about the internet, in the late 1990s, he has since developed Masters-level modules at St Andrews in theology and digital technology, most recently on surveillance.

Nicholas Taylor is Rector of St Aidan’s, Clarkston, in the Diocese of Glasgow and Galloway of the Scottish Episcopal Church. He was awarded his PhD by the University of Durham and has published in the fields of New Testament and origins, and the interface between theology, liturgy and ministry. He has taught in universities and colleges in the United Kingdom and in central and southern Africa and is Canon Theologian of Mutare Cathedral.

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