Formed in the Image of God: The Theological Status of Neanderthals

Megan Stueve


A thorough examination of the various theological interpretations of imago Dei shows that Homo sapiens are not the only species to be created in the image of God.  While maintaining their uniqueness in the eyes of the Lord, Homo sapiens also share this gift with another species, Homo neanderthalensis.  The archaeological record proves that Neanderthals qualify for imago Dei under each of the four main interpretations of the biblical term.   Based on their rationality and adaptive nature, their compassion through use of medicine, their social networking and their symbolic use of art, it can be concluded that Neanderthals were also created in God’s image.



Neanderthals; imago Dei; human uniqueness; Homo sapiens; image of God

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Copyright (c) 2017 Megan Stueve

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