Who Do I Say That You Are? Anthropology and the Theology of Theosis in the Finnish School of Tuomo Mannermaa

William Schumacher, Concordia Seminary, St. Louis


Part of what drives the present study is the conviction that anthropology matters in theology. That is to say, theology must find new ways (or recover and translate old ways) to answer questions about what it means to be human. One purpose of this study, then, is to try to reclaim the doctrine de homine as a vital and pertinent dimension of the whole theological enterprise, rather than relegate anthropology to non-theological (or even anti-theological) disciplines. The anthropological suggestions that arise from the studies of the Finnish school, intriguing and stimulating in some respects, ultimately fall short of this goal, in part because they represent a kind of "flight from creation" (to use Wingren's phrase). It is the thesis of this study that reclaiming anthropology as a vital theological discipline will involve a renewed affirmation of the creature1iness of human beings also in terms of redemption, that is, the assertion that our status as creatures is not a limitation to be overcome- as through the deification of the believer-- but a gift to be celebrated.