A brilliant patristics scholar and Eastern Orthodox nun, Sr. Nonna Harrison raises existential questions that beguile children and adults alike with their simplicity: What makes me the way I am, is it possible to become good, am I free or a prisoner of circumstances? Mining the Church Fathers for answers to satisfy our present age as well as those of the past, she unearths and follows a buried vein that underlies all the rest: What does it mean to be created in the image of God? At once modest and erudite, profound and down to earth, her approach offers both guidance for living amidst modern confusions and contradictions and a fine introduction to patristic anthropology. Harrison honors the Fathers without hesitating to address deficiencies such as the omission of women from many texts, or pointing out alternatives better suited to a modern sensibility. For example, since 'people today are tempted to depression and despair,' she acknowledge that 'telling oneself over and over that one is the worst of sinnners' is unlikely to make us humble; instead, follow St. Basil's advice to remember 'when exhilirated with limitless powers and possibilities...that one is made of dust; but when constrained and depresssed...that one is made in God's image.' She rounds out the book with tangential issues (art, science, the natural world) whose significance fully emerges in light of humanity's creation in the divine image.
An Eighth Day View:
What does it mean to be a human being made in the image of God? This book makes the case that the divine image can be seen in not just one or two aspects of human identity but in all of them. The author, a specialist in early Christianity, reveals the light that leading theologians of the early church shed on contemporary discussions of what it means to be human. Each chapter explores a different facet of the divine image and likeness and maps out a path that can lead toward wholeness and holiness. This fresh approach to theological anthropology brings Greek patristic theology to students in a readable fashion.