Jan-Olav Henriksen investigates the close relationship between God and human beings via an understanding of religion as clusters of practices that relate humans to ultimacy by different types of representation. Christian religion articulates its belief in God as creator (manifest in the power to be) and redeemer (represented in the life and ministry of Jesus Christ. Christ thus is the primary representation of God as the ultimate reality of love. He is also the true image of God, and the model for how humans are also called to represent God in love. The human features of desire and vulnerability, as these express elements that shape, form, and articulate challenges for human life, present humans with the need for orienting themselves, and for different types of transformation. Christian religion articulates a specific mode of how to cope with these challenges presented by desire and vulnerability: by living in love. Against this backdrop, Henriksen argues that neither how one understands religion, God, nor how to live a life that relates to ultimacy, can be tasks fulfilled as long as history goes on.
Professor Dr. theol & Dr. philos Jan-Olav Henriksen (1961) is professor of Philosophy of Religion at (MF) Norwegian School of Theology, Religion and Society in Oslo, Norway.