Religion Booknotes

God’s Many-Splendored Image
Theological Anthropology for Christian Formation
Nonna Verna Harrison
Baker Academic, $22.99, 224 pp.

Nonna Verna Harrison is a well respected patristics scholar with a special interest in the Cappadocian Fathers. In God’s Many-Splendored Image, she carries her learning lightly as she explores the significance of the biblical assertion that all humans are created in the image and likeness of God (Genesis 1:26).

That passage of Scripture has been the subject of powerful meditation throughout the history of Christian thought. One might even argue that Pope John Paul II rooted his entire project of social justice in this one statement. Harrison, an Orthodox nun and a seminary professor, echoes the common patristic notion that the word “image” names the stable foundation of human nature, while “likeness” captures the process by which we conform ourselves to the Trinitarian ground of our being.

Taking the typology of “image and likeness” as her fundamental theme, Harrison gradually develops the two concepts, covering a wide range of related theological topics along the way. As her subtitle suggests, she is concerned with how we are “formed” as Christians. Thus in chapter three, she considers how we can refresh our...

To read the rest of this article please login or become a subscriber.

About the Author

Lawrence Cunningham is John O'Brien professor of Theology (Emeritus) at the University of Notre Dame.