Imago Dei

by Scott D. Hendricks

For what use is existence to the creature if he cannot know his Maker? How could men be reasonable beings if they had no knowledge of the Word and Reason of the Father through whom they had received their being? They would be no better than the beasts, had they no knowledge except of earthly things; and why should God have made them at all, if He had not intended them to know Him? But, in fact, the good God has given them a share in His own image, that is, in our Lord Jesus Christ, and has made even themselves after the same image and likeness. Why? Simply in order that through this gift of God-likeness in themselves they may be able to perceive the Absolute Image, that is the Word Himself, and through Him to apprehend the Father, which knowledge of their Maker is for men the only really happy and blessed life.

~ St. Athanasius the Great

St. Athanasius, On the Incarnation (Crestwood: St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press, n.d.), 38.

Quoted by Thomas Hopko, All the Fulness of God (Crestwood: St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 1982), 14.