Augustine on the image of God in man

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Reformed Covenanter

Cancelled Commissioner
Still, since God’s image has not been so completely erased in the soul of man by the stain of earthly affections, as to have left remaining there not even the merest lineaments of it whence it might be justly said that man, even in the ungodliness of his life, does, or appreciates, some things contained in the law; if this is what is meant by the statement that “the Gentiles, which have not the law” (that is, the law of God), “do by nature the things contained in the law,” and that men of this character “are a law to themselves,” and “show the work of the law written in their hearts,” — that is to say, what was impressed on their hearts when they were created in the image of God has not been wholly blotted out: ...

For more, see Augustine on the image of God in man.

P.S. See this link for another quotation from Augustine on a similar theme.


Puritan Board Freshman
I had just been reading On Christian Doctrine and had copied this relevent quote. “For a great thing truly is man, made after the image and similitude of God, not as respects the mortal body in which he is clothed, but as respects the rational soul by which he is exalted in honor above the beasts.” (p. 527) of the Schaff edition.


Puritan Board Junior
I cannot remember. The problem with me citing these sources is that many of them have been in my backlog for years and so it is a long time since I have read the works in question. @DTK might be able to say more about this subject.
In his Systematic Theology, Berkhof seems to judge that Augustine identified the image of God with the intellect of man.

Louis Berkhof: According to Scripture the essence of man consists in this, that he is the image of God. As such he is distinguished from all other creatures and stands supreme as the head and crown of the entire creation. Scripture asserts that man was created in the image and after the likeness of God, Gen. 1:26,27; 9:6; Jas. 3:9, and speaks of man as being and as bearing the image of God, I Cor. 11:7; 15:49. The terms “image” and “likeness” have been distinguished in various ways. Some were of the opinion that “image” had reference to the body, and “likeness,” to the soul. Augustine held that the former referred to the intellectual, and the latter, to the moral faculties of the soul. Bellarmin regarded “image” as a designation of the natural gifts of man, and “likeness” as a description of that which was supernaturally added to man.

This is (at the very least) certainly consistent with Augustine's view, even if it does not reflect an exhaustive explanation of his view, for he testifies the following in his Confessions...

Augustine (354-430): This is why after the plural expression, Let us make man, the singular is implied by the next verse, So God made man in his own image, and after the plural according to our image and likeness the singular is suggested by in the image of God he created him. In this way man is renewed in the knowledge of God in accordance with the image of his creator. John E. Rotelle, O.S.A., ed., The Works of Saint Augustine, Part 1, Vol. 1, trans. Maria Boulding, O.S.B., Confessions, Book 13, Chapter 22, §32 (New York: New City Press, 1997), p. 365.
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