Need without lack : a constructive proposal for a pneumatologically-Christocentric anthropology
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While many disciplines have formally recognized and explicated the significance of “need” for their areas of study, such focus on this concept has not been undertaken theologically. Given the particular work of analytic philosophers on this concept, this project seeks to rigorously define need in ways informed by both analytic philosophy and biblical studies in order to contribute to theological anthropology. At root then, this project proposes that humans were intended for incompleteness—a need without lack. On this understanding, need is dispositional and inseparable from a creature’s ontology. Further, this need was intended to be discovered in a context of abundance, an abundance of what would continually meet this need: God’s personal presence. The realization of this incompletion would involve dynamic growth, such that the dispositional need to be in a relation of dependence upon the personal divine presence would require ongoing fulfillment. Thus, this need was not intrinsically an imperfection, but an incompleteness integral to what it means to be human. While being incomplete is typically understood negatively, on this view such need is indicative of what it means to be human. In order to make these claims, the aims of this thesis are thus threefold: first, to highlight the exegetical significance of divine presence for understanding anthropology—providing a sort of minimalism which any anthropology must include; second, to analytically appropriate that significance through the technical concept of fundamental need; and third, to apply this technical concept to the task of constructing a pneumatologically-Christocentric anthropology.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 Internationalhttp://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/
Embargo Date: 2028-11-21
Embargo Reason: Thesis restricted in accordance with University regulations. Print and electronic copy restricted until 21st November 2028
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