Franklin, Patrick S. “The Human Person in Contemporary Science and Theology.” Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith: Journal of the American Scientific Affiliation 64, no. 2 (June 2012): 120-129.
Questioning what it means to be human is perennial, going back millennia. The Psalm often quoted is, “What is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them?” (Ps. 8:4, NIV). It is an analytical as well as an existential question, with implications for understanding not only what we are (descriptively) but also what we are to become (ethically) in light of our purpose.1 In this article, I interact with four recent books that are part of the interdisciplinary discussion of human personhood in contemporary science and theology. My goal is to highlight some of the key issues currently being addressed, identify important points of consensus and disagreement therein, and offer brief theological reflection on the significance of these issues for Christian believers. I will begin with a concise introduction to each book and then identify and discuss four prominent issues concerning human personhood currently being addressed in the literature.
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