Published online by Cambridge University Press: 15 August 2019
Ideas of likeness are central to accounts of participation. In this chapter, we consider not only what it means for creatures to derive their existence (or – better – being) from God but also their nature, essence, or characterfulness. This is the territory of exemplarity and exemplary causation. A Platonic tradition of thinking about exemplarity is considered, not least in terms of the way it has been taken up and transformed by writers working in a Biblical tradition. Different ways to think about exemplarity are considered, particularly the theological distinction between likeness, image, and vestige, and between a likeness to a divine idea and a likeness to a divine perfection. Attention is given to the idea of the imago dei.
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