Made in God's Image: A Multidisciplinary Study of Personhood and Faith
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The question "what is a person?" haunts countless disciplines and debates, from theology to neuroscience, abortion to artificial intelligence. For Christians to engage meaningfully in such areas in a way consistent with their religious ideals, they must have a carefully considered perspective on personhood. In this project, I present a model of how to consider such a challenging topic. I first establish a biblical anthropology consisting of twelve principles of personhood derived from Scripture. I next present three different perspectives on personhood – traditional theological, emergent, and reductionist – which originate from the disciplines of theology, sociology, and neuroscience, respectively. I analyze the compatibility of these three perspectives with the established biblical principles of personhood. From this, I conclude that the traditional theological perspective is most compatible with Scripture. However, I more significantly argue that one should adopt the perspective on personhood that bears the greatest consilience with both Scripture and other forms of knowledge, while giving priority to Scripture. I ultimately conclude that the traditional theological perspective is the most consilient of the three perspectives with Scripture and the wider body of knowledge.