What is anthropology? Anthropology comes from the Greek word anthropos which means man or humanity. Therefore, anthropology is the study of humans. It considers who we are and why we exist. In secular universities, the study is engaged primarily from a man-centered perspective; however, since God created humans and made them in his image, it is impossible to truly study humanity apart from God. It is from God that people derive their significance and purpose.
Therefore, we must ask, “Why is the study of anthropology important?” It’s important for several reasons:
- In anthropology, we study ourselves, answering questions like, “Why do I exist? What is my purpose? And what is my future?” Without knowing the purpose of something, it is almost always abused.
- In anthropology, we learn more about humanity’s relationship with God. Since God created humanity, he has plans for our interactions with himself, one another, and his creation. Therefore, by studying God and his relationship with humans, we can properly understand ourselves and live out our purpose.
- In anthropology, we learn about humanity’s dignity. This helps us address issues like abortion, genocide, suicide, euthanasia, racism, classism, and environmentalism. The study of anthropology helps us develop a biblical worldview and, therefore, addresses many critical issues in our world.
Consequently, the study of anthropology is intensely practical. For us to know who we are and what to do with our lives, we must see ourselves from God’s perspective.