Man in Revolt: A Christian Anthropology

By Emil Brunner

A wide-ranging discussion of human nature seeing the relationship between God and humanity as the key to the contradiction between what we are and ought to be.

ISBN: 9780718890445


In the struggle of ideas, the most fundamental and far-reaching is that of the nature of mankind. What are we? Why are we not at peace with ourselves or our neighbours? How does our understanding of our nature lead to personal and social well-being? We have followed the false leads of Darwin, Nietzsche, Marx, and Freud in trying to understand ourselves. Despite other differences, they all interpret man in relation to nature, rejecting transcendent, metaphysical or religious understanding of the human condition. They do not solve the contradiction between what we are and what we ought to be. Brunner sees the human contradiction as comprehensible only in terms of a God to whose word we must respond. This is not communication by language; it refers to the fundamental character of personal relations.

People are persons in so far as they can freely say to each other what they think and feel. This communication is possible in so far as we recognise that God speaks to us and respond to Him.

Brunner sees responsibility as the key to personality. The Biblical doctrine of man, created in the image of God and capable of responding to God’s Word, is the key to recovering an effective sense of responsibility. With profound penetration and power, Brunner applies his thesis to such vexed questions as individuality and community, character, relations between man and woman, relations between soul and body. Man in Revolt explains our frustration and confusion about ourselves, and why the Christian view of man, of his place in nature and history, is the truth which man both needs and seeks in the search for himself.

Additional information

Dimensions 229 × 153 mm
Pages 574


Trade Information LPOD

About the Author

Dr Emil Brunner was made Privatdozent at the University of Zurich at the age of 33, and later was appointed Professor of Systematic and Practical Theology. In 1953 he became Professor of Christian University, Tokyo (Japan) and in 1955 returned to Zurich.

His three-volume masterpiece Dogmatics is available from our sister imprint James Clarke and Co Ltd.


Author’s Preface (to the German Edition)
Translator’s Note

Introduction: The Question of Man
I. The Riddle of Man
II. Man’s Own View of His Significance
III. The Variety of the Views of Man

Main Section I: Foundations
IV. The Presuppositions of the Christian Doctrine of Man
V. The Origin: The Imago Dei
VI. The Contradiction: The Destruction of the Image of God
VII. The Conflict Between the Origin and the Contradiction in Man: Man as He Actually is
VIII. The Objections to the Christian Doctrine, and the Retrospective Question from the Standpoint of Actual Experience

Main Section II: Development of the Theme
IX. The Unity of Personality and Its Decay
X. The Human Spirit and the Human Reason
XI. The Problem of Freedom
XII. The Individual and the Community
XIII. Character and Varieties of Character
XIV. Individuality and Humanity
XV. Man and Woman
XVI. Soul and Body
XVII. The Growth of Man and the Doctrine of Evolution
XVIII. Man in the Cosmos
XIX. Man in History
XX. Man in his Earthly Life, and Death

Epilogue: The Removal of the Contradiction Between Man as He Actually is, and Man as He is Intended to Be