Deified Identity: When Social Causes Override God

Mary McClintock Fulkerson’s essay, “The imago Dei and a Reformed logic for feminist/womanist critique,” identifies a problem with how the divine image is implemented for women and minorities across various contexts of church and broader social life. I fully agree with Fulkerson’s assessment of how we have failed to fully see the imago Dei in other humans in our interactions with others. The prevalence of social strife observed or experienced testifies to this gap. Ada María Isasi-Díaz’s “Elements of a Mujerista Anthropology” follows a similar path as Fulkerson’s, except to a more extreme degree in how to resolve tensions of concept and practice. However, Fulkerson, Isasi-Díaz, and similar solutions advance beyond God’s established order of creation and the church.

This paper will identify and resolve the problem that theologies bent by a social cause distract from seeking God (orthodox Christian definition) and emphasize a deified aspect of humanity. To achieve this goal, the presentation will (1) identify the problem of social-cause theologies, (2) develop Fulkerson and others’ attempt to solve the gap of concept and practice, (3) identify how the view fails to truly worship the God of Christianity, and (4) conclude with the development of a solution that maintains a reverence for God’s establishment of creation while bringing about a flourishing of the imago Dei in one’s life with self and others.

Fulkerson’s work will function as my primary dialogue partner due to broad agreement with her work, particularly her identification of the problem and shared Reformed theology. This will enable me to focus on the singular aspect with which I disagree, that is, her solution. This approach will limit the discussion to a single variable and avoid the complication of other factors (such as language or cultural differences). As a point of emphasis, while appreciating much of Fulkerson’s work, I will provide a specific correction focusing on proper reverence for God to account for the current state of humanity that is marred by sin at the deepest core of each human being.

4 thoughts on “Deified Identity: When Social Causes Override God”

Leave a Comment