Anthropology

As the study of mankind, or humankind, anthropology could encompass many studies that ordinarily fall under some other academic discipline. In theological discourse, anthropology often refers to the doctrine of man, or human beings, as created, fallen, and redeemed (Childress, 2001).

Christians have always believed that it is their soul that makes human beings different from the rest of creation. Human beings are a body and a soul. Animals are only a body. This is how the Bible describes the spiritual nature of human beings: “…The Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became living beings” (Genesis 2.7).

The Apostles’ Creed clearly states Christian belief in the resurrection of the body. The 1662 Book of Common Prayer (the defining book of the Church of England) states that Christians expect this body resurrection to occur followed by everlasting life.

There are also Biblical passages that support the idea: “The tombs broken open and the bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. They come out of the tombs, and after Jesus’ resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared too many people” (Matthew 27:52-53).

Some thinkers reject the idea that there is any continuation of individual psychological or physical identity. Other theologians have argued that only God is eternal, and any concept of eternal life should be connected to that fact.

Fundamentalists maintain a belief in a bodily resurrection, based on Biblical authority, and some Christians have rejected the idea of life after death completely, seeing it a mythological construction seeking validation of the virtuous life.

The Christian view is that the body will be resurrected after death – this is a reward for the righteous. St Paul speaks of a recreation – a resurrection with a glorified body: “so will it be with the resurrection of the death.

The body that is shown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; it is shown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is shown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is shown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body” (1 Corinthans 15:42-44) (cited from Dewar, 2002).

The Christian view of life after death involves separate beliefs: 1. the resurrection of the body. Christianity teaches that the body of each believer stays in the grave until the end of the world, when everyone is brought back to life. In some way, the actual body of each Christian is resurrected. 2. The immorality of the soul. This is the belief that when a person dies, their soul continues to survive because it is immortal. It is important to realize that Christians do not believe in reincarnation or rebirth.

John of the Cross (1542-1591) believed that the soul is spiritualized by divine action. The process of the purifying of the soul prepares it for union with God (Dewar, 2002).

Man as a subset of being, is not summarized only in the material aspect, it has also an immaterial aspect that is spirit. Therefore, the man’s resurrection and hereafter is an acceptable fact. He is created by God, and he is a goal –centered creature.

Goals of Man’s Creation

Considering the Qur’anic verse, “I have not created jinn and mankind except to serve me” (51:56), we can conclude that the aim of man’s creation has been “worship” or in fact “submission to or servitude of God.”

Tabatabaie (1999) considers the dependencies of worship, such as blessing, forgiveness, etc. as some of the goals of the creation of jinn and man, the most important of which is the particular knowledge that one acquires regarding his Lord. Worship without knowledge will never cause man to reach submission to and servitude of God.

On the other hand, the position of servitude of God and real worship is in itself knowledge – creating. Ja’fari (1981) considers knowledge as an integral part of worship, “as soon as man is delivered from the natural process of his being, and reaches the stage of awareness about his soul – which is of divine and heavenly world – his worship has started.

Whenever man becomes aware of his pure soul and spirit and comes to know that he is a part of the whole being tune played for divine grace, he has become involved in worship.” Mesbah Yazdi (1986) believes in this regard that the ultimate goal of man’s creation is attaining the last ranks of perfection and God’s nearness and utilizing and enjoyment of the highest and the most durable God’s bounty, grace and His eternal paradise and satisfaction.

A goal of the creation has been the accomplishment of worship and obedience to God that in turn is considered as a tool for achieving the ultimate goal. The immediate goal of creation has been the preparation of material and social background, and actualization of necessary cognitions for choosing freely the straight path of the life and extending and development of Godliness and worship of God in society.

That’s why in the Glorious Qur’an, after emphasis on the fact that worlds and man’s creation has not been in vain and “for sport” (23:115) and it has a wise goal, the aim of the world’s creations has been introduced as preparation of divine tests and the freely selection for man on one part, and worshipping of the exalted and sublime God on the other part.

The ultimate goal of man’s creation has been introduced as placing him in the vicinity of the divine grace and utilizing and enjoyment of eternal happiness, triumph and deliverance. Nasri (1989) believes that the ultimate goal of creation has been man and his existence elevation as all the creatures have been created in order that man might be able to use them and reaches himself to divine nearness as the Qur’an says, “It is He who created for You all that is in the earth” (2:29).

Goth (1996) says about the real meaning of worship that worship is not a series of lifeless actions and percepts and limited and definite formal ceremonies, rather it has a very comprehensive meaning that involves all parts, thoughts and actions and feelings of the human being.

In other words, worship means turning to God in all life activities, attaining His satisfaction in all affairs and fearing of all factors that cause God’s anger. Shariatmadarii (1992) states that when man’s goal is nearness to God and Truth, worship, trying for earning a livelihood, effort for solving the problems of fellow creatures, choosing the job and vocation, acquiring moral virtues and sacrifice are all activities that are necessitated by movement towards God.

The most important thing for a Muslim is to live in submission to God. By doing this, each Muslim shows respect for God and finds the Key to true happiness (Keene, 2005).

“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you… Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up” (the bible, James 4: 7-8 & 10).

The word “worship” means “worthiness.” Christians believe that in their worship, they are offering something that is worthy and precious to God – because He is worth it. Worship is important to Christians because God almighty Creator of the universe should be praised.

It is opportunity to say and show how much God means to loving Him in return – and also by loving their neighbors to express their love for God (Keene, 2005).

Worship in NT usually means expression of Praise or thanksgiving (Luke 17: 15-16). Sometimes it implies obeisance as an attitude for supplication (Matt. 8:2). In any case, it is the appropriate human response to the magnificence glory to God. Summons and encouragement to worship abound (Col. 4: 2; Heb. 13: 15).

The centrality of worship of Christians is evident in a book such as the Gospel of Luke, which opens and closes with scenes depicting worshippers (Luke 1: 8; 24: 52-53) and contains 21 specific references to people glorifying, Praising, or giving thanks to God. Likewise, the book of Revelation is inundated with images of worship.

The NT takes over the concern of OT prophets that worship be integrated into the life of faith. Thus, passages that prioritize merry over sacrifice (Hos. 6: 6) or decry worship with lips but not heart (Isa. 29: 13) are quoted in new context (Matt. 9: 13; Mark 7: 6-7).

Genuin worship is not merely for show (Matt. 6: 1-18) but involves surrender of the self to God in faithful obedience (Rom. 12: 1). (Powell; quoted in Freedman, Myers & Beck, 2000). There are general commands for all to “worship” God alone in Matt. 4: 10; Mark 4: 8 (Renn, 2005). “Worship before the Lord my God” (Deut 26: 10). “Worship thou him” (Psalm 45: 11).

At the heart of worship, it is said, is a numinous sense of the presence of the holy God. The numen is experienced “outside oneself”’, ‘over against” the worshipper. Worship may serve to prepare for, allow and evoke experience of God.

It may put People in the place, psychologically and epistemologically where God can be “seen” and “heard.” That would be learning – through – experience with a vengeance (Astley; cited from Astley, Francis & Crowder, 1996).

The teaching of Christian doctrine and the formation of Christian attitudes must take place together. Neither Process can take place authentically without the other. Worship is the paradigm situation for the joint activity (Astley; cited from Astley, Francis &Crowder, 1996).

Astley (1996, p. 245) believes that, “worship is not for anything; it has no ulterior point or purpose, least of all an educational one. Religious people do not worship in order to do or become anything else, to teach or to learn. Worship is an end in itself.”

It should be noted that it is quite right worship can be considered as an end, meanwhile, each worship can also considered as a tool and an instrument which can lead the worshipper to other worship. For example “prayer” is a worship that can be considered as an independent goal or end i.e. the people should try to reach the position to establish prayer.

On the other hand, it can also be considered as a tool or instrument, i.e. the prayer should reach man to such positions (or ends) as he or she helps the poor, not backbite, etc. It is interesting that Astley refers to this in another part of his article when he says, “Both worship and meditations have a powerful effect in leading to a loss of self – centeredness” (p. 245).

On the other hand, Astley takes emphasis on the emotional side of worship where he expresses “such an account of worship will lead us to construe the language of worship as performing non – cognitive, rather than cognitive, functions” (p. 246).

In another part of his article, when Astley tries to describe the Christian education and the emotions, he concludes, “Christian truth is learned both affectively and cognitively. It is when reason and emotion are divorced that religion most rapidly loses its sense and its power for people. Religion is a cognitive – affective activity” (p. 250). Thus, in addition to the cognition, God should also be loved: “I will love thee, O Lord, my strength” (Psalm 18: 1).

Loving God is a necessary part for His real worship. Therefore we should thank and appreciate Him that He has guided us to the way to love Him: “Praise is to the Lord, for he showed me the wonders of his love when I was in a city under siege.”

On the other hand, God loves those who love Him and trust Him: “The Lord’s unfailing love surrounds those who trust in him.” Then, it should again be emphasized: “Rejoice in the Lord and be glad, you righteous: sing, all you who are upright in heart!”(Psalm 32: 11), “sing joyfully to the Lord, you righteous” (Psalm 33: 1), “Play skillfully, and shout for joy” (Psalm 33: 3), “The lord loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of his unfailing love” (Psalm 33: 5).

Man’s Personality

We mean by the Personality here those characteristics which differentiates man from other creatures:

1- Man is breathed with God’s spirit: “And (I) breathed my spirit in him” (Qur’an, 15:29; 38:72). Considering the Hadith of the prophet of Islam (Mohammad), “the exalted God created man on His Own Face”, one can conclude that man can become God –like and can actualize the divine and spiritual potentials which have been trusted in him.

“And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul” (the Bible, Genesis 2: 7). The second part of the Genesis creation story (chapter 2-3) involves the creation of Adam and Eve, and the “Fall” and eviction from the Garden of Eden: God is pictured in a more super – human way. Adam is created of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life (Dewar, 2002).

Image of God (imago Dei): “Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and let them have dominion ….’ So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them” (the Bible, Gen. 1: 26f; cf. 5: 1 and 9: 6).

According to Reformation theology, original sin affects the core of human nature, but there were also disputes among Reformation theologians. As Van Hervey writes, “In general, the Lutheran tradition emphasized the loss of the image of God while the Calvinist tradition regarded it as corrupted but not lost.

Although the image of God is often construed as reason and freewill, it has also been interpreted as spiritual capacities, such as self – transcendence or the capacity for and the call to relationship with God, as excellence, such as righteousness (Childdress, 2001).

The image of God in human beings remains. According to the Bible, human being alone worship God (Keenes, 2005). Being made in God’s image means that human beings share something of His nature. Christians refer to this as their ‘spirit’ or ‘soul’. It is this that worships God. After death, the spirit or soul lives on since it is immortal (eternal) (Keene, 2005).

2- Man is prostrated by God’s angels, “And when we said to the angels, ‘Bow yourselves to Adam’; so they bowed themselves” (Qur’an, 2:34; 17:61; 20:116). Therefore, man can reach a higher position than God’s angles if he keeps his humanistic properties.

3- Man is viceroy of God on the earth: “I am sending in the earth a viceroy” (Qur’an, 2:34; 17:30).” Therefore, it can be deduced that man has the most similarity to God, because a “viceroy” should have the most similarity to the one who has appointed him as his viceroy.

Muslims believe that God created the world and everything in it. Human beings are the most important part of creation and they have been made so that they alone can serve the God. They have been appointed to act as earth’s ‘guardians’.

The earth belongs to God but He has delegated responsibility for its day-to-day care to the Muslim community. (Human beings are God’s ‘vice-regents’, appointed by Him to look after what He has made.

They must guarantee that the whole of creation is kept healthy so that food is provided for everyone. No one should ever be in want. In Islam, the more the one has, the more one should make sure that it is used properly.

This responsibility is seriously because, on the Day of Judgment, everybody will have to answer to God for how they have treated the planet. All animals and insects are a part of God’s creation – no matter how big or how small! (Keene, 2005).

As God has dominion over all particles of the world, He has given some authority to man as His viceroy on the earth: “Have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth” (the bible, Genesis 1: 28).

4- Man has covenanted friendship with God and has accepted God as his Lord: “And when we took from the Children of Adam, from their loins, their seed, and made them testify touching themselves, ‘Am I not your Lord?’ They said: ‘Yes, we testify’” (Qur’an, 7:172). Thus, the man should remain truthful to his covenant with his Lord (God): “With thee will I establish my covenant” (the Bible, Genesis 6: 18).

Faith is a necessary condition of authentic knowledge of God and of the human good. This is faith as belief and believing. Faith as trust, its ties with certifiable knowledge of God and of the human good loosened, is put under heavy pressure to posit it and for itself value absolutes – ideals and/ or beings deemed worthy of unconditional loyalty. In Jesus Christ God makes Himself known; in this transaction, and here alone, the divine moral imperatives for the faithful are ascertained (Hartt, 2002).

5- Man accepted a trust which the heavens, the earth and the mountains feared to take it: “We offered the trust to the heavens and the earth and the mountains, but they refused to carry it and were afraid of it; and man carried it” (Qur’an, 33:72).

If we interpret this trust as man’s freewill in acceptance of God’s ordainments and acting according to them, then it is up to man not to leave down this trust in halfway and not to refrain from doing God’s ordainments even for a moment.

6. Man is at rest by God’s remembrance: “In God’s remembrance are at rest the hearts” (Qur’an, 13:28). The Holy Qur’an emphasizes that it is only possible through God’s remembrance that man’s hearts may feel rest.

On the other hand, the above verse indicates that man has a great and high status and he has similarity with God that his heart is only at rest in God’s remembrance.

Thus, God is the only and the real source of any rest and comfort: “Praise be to God… the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God” (Corinthians: 374).

7. Man possess a moral conscience that blames him when committing a sin: “No! I swear by the reproachful soul” (Qur’an, 75:2). This verse indicates that God considers a great importance for man’s regret and penitence after committing a sin.

It is due to this sacred and holy feeling that man repents. Thus, it is necessary for all mankind not to do those actions which might cause them to become indifferent to committing sins.

8. Man has been created in best existential conditions: “We indeed created man in the fairest nature” (Qur’an, 95:4). Therefore, man should not do those actions which reduce him to the lowest states: “then we restored him the lowest of the low” (Qur’an, 95:5).

In spite of the very high status of man between creatures, he does also suffer from some weak points: “And God saw the wickedness of man was great in the earth and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Genesis 6:5).

According to the Qur’an, man’s weaknesses can be divided into three groups (Baqeri, 1991):

1. Those verses in which the words “create” and “man” has been used, and it has been referred to man’s creation. One can conclude from such verses that God Himself has placed these weak points in man, and these weak points can be removed by man’s endeavor and free will or be utilized positively.

The peak of elevation and luminousness of faithful man is in such a confrontation and utilization, and all of his virtue and skillfulness is to have such an effort. Some of the verses which places in this category, are as follows:

1. “Man was created of haste” (21:37)

2. “Man was verily created greedy” (70:19).

3. “Man was created weakling” (4:23).

All of these verses have the word “man” – that refers to mankind in general – and also the word “created.” In other words, God has created man with such qualities, and so man has not himself chosen them, and since God does nothing in vain, thus man can positively utilize these properties.

For example, if human beings use their “hurry or haste” property in such a manner that instead of they reach their goals sooner, they reach later, or they don’t reach their goals at all, such haste will be considered as negative and disagreeable haste.

However, if man hurries in the route of goodness so that he might reach faster and better to the good goal of his creation, that is elevation, perfection and submission to God, he has applied a positive and agreeable haste. That’s the reason why the Muslims say several times in day and night before they begin establishing they prayers, “hurry to the prayer”, “hurry to the salvation”, “hurry to the bets action.”

Alternatively, it is said that, “hurry to the prayer before death, and hurry to the repentance before death”, or the Holy Qur’an says, “Vie with one another, hastening to forgiveness from your Lord” (3:133), or “so be you forward in good works” (5:48).

As for the verse, which refers to this fact that man has been created greedy, it can be said that such a greed and avarice may be applied in the route of the worldly abject comforts in such a manner that forces man to stinginess.

Therefore the Qur’an introduces those who keep themselves from such stinginess as the successful, “And whosoever is guarded against the avarice of his own soul, those – they are the prosperous” (59:9).

It is also possible that every person utilize positively from the “greed or avarice”, for example, he becomes greedy for knowledge, spirituality and guidance. One of the dispositions God attributes to the prophet of Islam is that he was very eager and greedy for people’s guidance (that they may be guided): “Now there has come to you a messenger from among yourselves; grievous to him is your suffering; anxious is he over you, gentle to the believers, compassionate”(9:128).

As for the verses, which referred to this fact that man has been created “weak”, it can be said that from one respect man’s power is not infinite in different aspects such as physical, intellectual, etc.

From another respect it can be said that man in facing God’s ordainments may remain still weak and show weakness, feebleness and disability in doing good affairs or not committing sins if he doesn’t strengthen his religious beliefs and certitude.

But he, on the other hand, can reach a position in which he reduces his weakness by strengthening his faith and piety and becomes, like the disciples of the prophet of Islam who fall under this verse of the Qur’an: “…they fainted not for what smote them in God’s way, neither weakened, nor did they humble themselves” (3:146). But in every case he should feel himself weak and unable before the powerful God: “O men, you are the ones that have need of God” (35:15).

The second category includes those verses in which the word “man” is used, but the word “create” is not seen in them. In other words, the weakness attributed to man in such verses has not been considered as the weak points created by God in man’s nature. Thus, it can be concluded that man has a role in such weak points. The following verse is an example of such verses: “Surly man waxes insolent, for he thinks himself self-sufficient” (96:6).

In this verse, this character of most of men has been blamed that when they feel themselves needless of God, they will rebel and disobey. It should also be mentioned that human beings can reach to a position they only see themselves in need of God and feel an absolute freedom from whatever is against God and attains to the real position of magnanimity and loftiness of nature, and then be delivered from all worldly instabilities and agitations, and say, as Hafez, one of the Iranian most famous poets said: “Last night, at morning time, me freedom from grief, they gave” (p. 178)

“Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession” (Psalm 2:8). Therefore, man in such a position reaches a status in which he says: “But thou, O Lord, art a shield for me; my glory and the lifter up of mine head” (Psalm 3: 3). Because he believes that “I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people that have set themselves against me round about” (Psalm 3: 6).

“The Lord foils the plans of the nations; he thwarts the purposes of the peoples. But the plans of the Lord stand firm for ever… Blessed is nation whose God is the Lord, the people he chose for inheritance” (Psalm 33: 10-11). That is because “No king is saved by the size of his army; no warrior escapes by his great strength” (Psalm 33: 16). “This is the very position that Hafez names it as “Kingdom of poverty”, “O heart! If thee, the Kingdom of Poverty, they give, thy least territory will be from the moon to the fish” (p. 471). In fact, the real piety is not anything else save such a position. In other words, piety is “not wanting”, not “not having.”

The third category includes those Qur’anic verses referring to man’s serious weak points which himself intentionally has acquired them. For example, the Qur’an says that some individuals committed a very great and indecent trick against one of the greatest God’s prophets: “… have devised a mighty device” (71:22). The blameworthy state seen in such verses is more than the verses of the second category.

Determinism and Free Will

We can see the idea of Islam concerning determinism and free will in its most summarized form in this valuable speech of Imam Ja’far Sadiq, one of the Muslim Imams, where he says, “There is no absolute determinism, and there is no absolute free will, but it is between these two.”

Tabatabaie (2002) in interpretation of “it is between these two” says that the meaning of this statement is that the exalted God intended that His bondmen do the actions with their own free wills, as God says in the Qur’an: “but you will not unless God wills”(76:30). In other words, if God does not will, there will not be any man, nor will be any knowledge, power, and free will for him (Mesbah Yazdi, 1986).

According to Baqeri (1991), it can be deducted from the Qur’an that no power can take from man his free will and force him, including Satan (17:22), governmental system (4:77), social culture (43:23), penetrating and great figures of society (33:67), family system (66:10) and heredity (31:33).

This doesn’t not mean that society has no influence upon man, in other words although the society cannot seize free will from man, it can definitely affect man’s feelings, emotions and motivation positively or negatively.

If we pay sufficient attention to different verses of the Glorious Qur’an regarding determinism and freewill, we will notice that the Qur’an considers two aspects for man, the individual aspect and the group or social aspect, that is to say some of the Qur’an verses refer to man’s individual aspect, for example the prophet of Islam is addressed that; “establish prayer” (11:114; 17:78). On the other hand, some of the Qur’an verses refer to man’s social aspect, for example: “And do not spy, neither backbite one another” (49:12).

According to this, the Qur’an considers two individual (17:14) and social books (45:28), two individual (19:95) and social summoning (64:9), two individual (6:164) and social punishment (16:25).

For example in man’s social the Qur’an speaks of those losses that has a social aspect: “upon the day when He shall gather you for the Day of Gathering; that shall be the Day of Mutual Fraud” (64:9). The word “Mutual Fraud” (Taghabun) indicates in the Arabic language those losses which have a social aspect that is society sometimes causes its members to be cheat and lose, for example the society causes the religious motivation of some of its members to be decreased and they commit some sins, etc.

The question of freedom in relation a specifically Christian ethic becomes acute at two points in particular – where it impinges on the doctrines of original sin and grace. His awareness of this tension found its classic expression in the controversy between Augustinianism and Plagiarism.

The first of these views held that the human will is so disabled by sin that it cannot choose well except through the supervening of divine grace; the second, that a genuine autonomous freedom remains.

In practice, the church seems to have settled for a compromise between these extremes. Even if we allow that our fallen nature pulls us toward bad choices, we are not absolutely determined by this pull, and the very fact that there is a natural awareness of sin itself is in itself a branch in the domination of sin.

On the other hand, if we allow that the human will needs enabling grace, it cannot be supposed that such grace is irresistible or imposed in such a way that we become more puppets. The dialectic of sin and grace is the theological counterpart of the ethical dialectic between freedoms and determinism. In both cases, the dialectic must be minted and explicated in fully personal terms (Macquarrie, 2001).

John Calvin (1509 – 1564) is most closely associates with Calvinism, the protestant theological movement that emphasizes the sovereignty of God, the goodness of creation, the authority of scripture, and the sinfulness of humanity. Calvin taught that God is all – powerful and all – knowing.

A logical of this belief is that God already knows which humans will be welcomed into heaven, and which will go to heaven, the humans have moral choice. This idea is known as Predestination, and is supported by several writers, including St Paul: “We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.

For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed of the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn within a large family. And those whom he predestined he also justified; and those whom he justified he also glorified” (Romans 8: 28-30).

St Augustine says “will any man presume to say that God did no foreknow those to whom he would grant belief! …This is the predestination of saints; namely, the foreknowledge and planning of God Kindness, by which there are most surely delivered.”

The belief has strong support from several Christian groups, and remains as one of the 39 Articles of Faith of the Church of England: “predestination to life is everlasting purpose of God, whereby (before the foundations of the world were laid) he hath constantly decreed by his counsel secret to us, to deliver from curse and damnation those whom he hath chosen in Christ out of mankind, and to bring them by Christ to everlasting salvation, as vessels made to honor” (Article 17, Articles of Religion, Book of Common prayer, cited from Dewar, 2002).

Augustine (354 – 430) based his theory on his reading of Key Biblical passage: Genesis 3 and Romans 5:12-20. He also based it on two assumptions: 1. Evil is not from God – God’s creation was faultless and perfect. 2. Evil came from within the world. Augustine accounts for evil by ascribing it to human agency. Evil came about because of the misuse of “free will.”

All suffering is therefore a consequence of this abuse of free will. “Natural evil” is caused by the imbalance in nature brought about by the “fall.” “Moral evil” is caused because the world has become estranged from God, and immorality has been able to thrive. However, God has not relinquished the responsibility for the world.

If God were simply just, everyone would be suitably punished. Instead, God’s grace brought about the possibility of reconciliation through Jesus Christ, whose crucifixion saved a certain number from eternal punishment (Dewar, 2002).

Aquinas believed that goodness is wrapped up in cause and purpose. An act is good as far as it achieves its potential. Aquinas’s application of Aristotelian causation is the foundation of Roman Catholic morality. Every action has a purpose given it by God (Dewar, 2002).

According to these materials, we understand well why the Bible explicitly applies such words as free and freedom for humankind: “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery” (Galatians 5:1).

Man’s Responsibility

Since man is a free and authorized being, thus he should undertake the responsibility of his actions (Ebrahim Zadeh, 1990). Albahi (translated by Sajjadi, 1993) says that this idea of Islam that everyone is responsible of his actions is due to distinction and privilege of man as compared with other creatures because of his intellect and understanding.

Responsibility is an inner question when a person has for example ability, whether he or she has done his or her duties according to his or her ability. Human beings, because of possessing intellect, power of thinking and their other inner and natural characters, entered into an agreement with their Lord (Qur’an, 7:172), that they act according to their characteristics and potentials.

Therefore, in this a position, it is not only that ask themselves such a question, but also the others, too, have the right for asking this question, that’s the reason why God addresses the men this question that: “Where then are you going?” (81:26).

Evidentially the wise God asks man this question when He has given man the ability of identification and distinguishing between the right way from the wrong way, and this ability has surely been given to the humans: “Surely we guided him upon the way whether he be thankful or unthankful” (76:3).

Therefore in the light of the very ability for identification of the right way from wrong way, it is necessary for man to see himself obliged to do good deeds and avoid from doing bad things, that is, feels responsibility since such a feeling responsibility comes from the man’s nature, and religion is nothing else but the message of man’s nature, thus these two are consistence with each other, and then: “No compulsion is there in religion.”

Particularly when the truth of the religion is comprehended and understood considering its harmony with the man and its matchless attractiveness and brightness, then there would be no force and compulsion for human beings to accept it.

Within the word for response is hidden the Greek word for “promise”, recalling the practice of reliably performing one’s part in a common undertaking. In this sense, responsibility refers, not merely to the conditions for immutability, but to the trustworthiness and dependability of the agent in some enterprise.

This meaning has been explored by theologians rather than by philosophers. God as creator dictates a law and will judge accordingly; human beings must know God’s law and freely obey it. They are responsible, that is, accountable before God’s judgment (Jonsen, 2001).

The poem of creation speaks of humanity’s God-given responsibility for looking after the earth. The human race is to “rule over” the earth. It is told: “Be fertile and increase, fill the earth and master it, and rule the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky and all the living things that creep on the earth” (the Bible, Genesis 1: 28).

Christians today believe that human beings have been called by God to be “stewards” of the world that He has created. This simply means that each generation is responsible for passing on God’s good gifts to the next generation in a good shape. The earth does not belong to us. It belongs to God: “The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it” (Psalm 24:1-2).