Many societies today experience a crisis of cohesion, of trust and hope. Against this background, the UNCE project team will investigate how the basic values of human life, such as freedom, beauty, creativity, solidarity and responsibility hang together around a centre that the Bible interpreted through stories about people being created in the image of God, according to God’s likeness, with both a capacity and a need to draw on this centre where connection with their source of life takes place. At the same time, they will study why the way to this life-renewing centre is full of obstacles. This will involve considering the human experiences of alienation with all its negative consequences, expressed in classical theology through teaching on the Fall and sin with their socio-ecological consequences, and with judgement involving all that we have been and done or failed to be and do. Even within Christianity various “solutions”, theological or practical, have been presented by different traditions. For the renewed cooperation between people and God they use umbrella terms such as salvation, justification, sanctification/deification. This project will study this multifaceted theological heritage in the light of current problems, as well as considering the current search for wholeness and thus in some sense also for holiness. The overall question of the UNCE project on theological anthropology in ecumenical perspective is: How do we understand what it means to be and to become human in relation to God, and within that foundational relationship to all else: to other people, animals, plants, nature and culture, to all the different forms of social and political life?
For the following 6 years (starting 2018) the cTPM researchers Gábor Ambrus, Martin Kočí, and František Štěch will be members of an ecumenical, interdisciplinary, and international team of researchers investigating and re-defining the field of theological anthropology.