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Anthropomorphism

Literally “in the form of man,” it is usually applied to God either (1) in the strict sense that God or the gods (e.g., the Olympian gods of Greek mythology) has or have a body like man's, or (2) that God's mental or spiritual qualities can only be understood in terms of those of man. The term may also be applied to the natural world, both inorganic (e.g., force, conceived as an extension of feeling in our muscles) and organic (e.g., the mental life of animals). The charge that theism is anthropomorphic in sense (1) above is often leveled against Christianity. It is urged (e.g., by Winwoode Reade in the Martyrdom of Man, 1872) that God is infinitely greater than man and cannot therefore be conceived in human terms. But this does not follow. If, whether directly or indirectly, God created man, then God must at least be familiar with the qualities inherent in man. Man can only think with his mind, the tool given him for thought, and this limits his conception of God to an anthropomorphic