Original Research

Definitely dust, but also more

Danie Veldsman
Verbum et Ecclesia | Vol 39, No 1 | a1888 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ve.v39i1.1888 | © 2018 Danie Veldsman | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 16 May 2018 | Published: 20 September 2018

About the author(s)

Danie Veldsman, Department of Dogmatics and Christian Ethics, University of Pretoria, South Africa


What does the Lutheran systematic theologian from South Africa, Klaus Nürnberger, find ‘ourselves to be’, that is, what is his viewpoint on anthropology? Nürnberger has recently taken on the task of formulating anew his anthropological viewpoint in his two-volume Faith in Christ today(2016). I will focus on this publication as well as an earlier publication on anthropology, namely ‘Dust of the ground and breath of life (Gn 2:7): The notion of “life” in ancient Israel and emergence theory’ (2012). Having discussed his rich and broadly science-theology–defined anthropological viewpoint on ‘what we find ourselves to be’, only one dimension of ‘more than dust’ is critically engaged with, namely his understanding of the ‘emotive’ or ‘affective’ dimension of being human. From contemporary neuroscientific viewpoints on emotions as well as philosophical viewpoints on the layeredness of affectivity, I critically engage with Nürnberger’s viewpoint.

Intradisciplinary and/or interdisciplinary implications: The question of being human (philosophical anthropology) is addressed within the context of the contemporary science–theology dialogues on anthropology. The critical question on the undervalued role of affectivity within Klaus Nürnberger’s perspective is asked from insights from neuroscientific and philosophical viewpoints on emotions and affectivity.


Klaus Nürnberger; Theology-science dialogue; Anthropology; Humanness; Affectivity


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