Beyond the Binary: Expanding Understandings of the Imago Dei

Heart created by chalk dust in rainbow colors

Beyond the Binary: Expanding Understandings of the Imago Dei
with Jane Aseltyne, IHM, MA

To be made in the image of God, the imago Dei, is a core belief in the Christian tradition. We believe that the image resides in all of us and reveals a God who created us out of gratuitous love. While we rightly hold this belief firmly, questions arise regarding our understanding of this central teaching. What exactly does it mean to be made in God’s image and likeness? Who defines it? Is anyone excluded from bearing the image of God?

In this webinar, Jane Aseltyne, IHM, MA, explores these questions through an LGBTQ+ lens, centering the experience of a community that has historically (and currently) been relegated to the margins of the Church and society. She challenges us to think more expansively about what it means to be bearers of God’s image, with an eye toward justice and inclusion.

Jane Aseltyne, IHM, MA

Jane Aseltyne, IHM, MA, recently earned her Master of Arts in Theology at Catholic Theological Union. Her studies focused on systematic theology and spirituality, which opened up doors to studying and researching in the area of queer theology. Her thesis sought to develop a more inclusive understanding of what it means to be made in the image and likeness of God, particularly concerning gender and sexual orientation. She supports the LGBTQ+ community through New Ways Ministry and her parish, St. James on Wabash in Chicago, where she co-leads her parish’s LGBTQ+ support group. Her writing has appeared in Global Sisters Report, the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) Occasional Papers, Human Development Magazine, New Ways Ministry, and the faith-based blog, Wisdom’s Dwelling. Past experience includes communications work with the online ministry A Nun’s Life Ministry and work with disenfranchised populations, including teenagers and the elderly. She currently serves at Bethany House of Hospitality, working with women seeking asylum in the United States. Follow her on Instagram.

heart photo credit: Alexander Grey on Unsplash



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