The Image and Likeness of God

He is the image of the invisible

Colossians 1:15

Just as the image of Jesus, the Son of Man, was an attempt to understand the humanity of Jesus, God incarnate, so, too, the vision of Jesus as the True Image was an exploration of the divinity that resides in human nature. This view of human nature as the "image and likeness of God" emerged during the debates that raged over Christian iconography in the eighth and ninth centuries. It hit at the very heart of the questions: How do we understand Jesus? How can an image capture the meaning of Christ? As theologians reflected upon these questions, they engaged in a contemplation of the meaning of human nature. It was seen as created by the same God and participating in the same transcendent creativity as Jesus, the uncreated True Image of the Divine. In the image of Christ, human nature saw itself reflected at the centre of its being. And so, human nature came to be understood as an icon of God, just as Christ was an icon of human nature.
Canadian Heritage Information Network, The Provincial Museum of Alberta,

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