Tzelem Elokim / Imago Dei / Image of God
September 13, 2018 Sacred Slogans
See the Introduction to Sacred Slogans for methodology and goals
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The idea of tzelem elokim,1 also known as imago dei, posits that humanity is created in the image of God. The primary source for this idea in Judaism comes from a creation narrative in the book of Genesis.2 There is a long fascinating tradition of Jewish philosophers and theologians speculating on the nature of what it means to be created in the image of God, which is beyond the scope of this essay. My present concern is tzelem elokim’s usage as the foundation for a universal/humanist conception of Judaism, to what extent this conception is compatible with Torah, and if we should take tzelem elokim at face value.