What does it mean to be a human being? Our guest today, David Kelsey, ambitiously tackles this challenging question in his masterful study of humanity in relationship to God. His magnum opus, the two-volume Eccentric Existence: A Theological Anthropology, has just been released from Westminster John Knox Press.
David H. Kelsey is Luther A. Weigle Professor of Theology Emeritus at Yale University Divinity School. Among his books are Imagining Redemption and To Understand God Truly.
Theological anthropology: an account from the perspective of the Christian faith of what it means to be a human being.
Eccentric existence: eccentric means having your center outside of yourself and existence means living as a human being. Thus, eccentric existence can be defined as having your center outside of yourself as a human being. Kelsey argues that the basis for human reality and value both lie outside of human beings; they lie in God.
Eschatological consummation: refers to the transformation of all creatures at the end of history into the kingdom of God or eternal life. According to Kelsey, eschatological consummation is the second of three distinct ways in which God relates to us: God creates us; God is there at the end of all things eschatologically; and God reconciles us when we are alienated from God.