What Does God Look Like? Here’s What U.S. Christians Answered

Date:

A team of psychologists from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill conducted a research, asking American Christians how they imagine God looks like. The majority of the respondents see God as young, Caucasian, and male, reports Church Times.

The study surveyed 511 devout Christians in the U.S. Participants were asked to create a picture of God based on hundreds of pictures of faces. The selected pictures were then combined to make a composite image of God.

People often project their beliefs and traits onto others, and our study shows that God’s appearance is no different — people believe in a God who not only thinks like them, but also looks like them. —Professor Kurt Gray

According to researchers, “From Michaelangelo to Monty Python, popular illustrations have consistently shown God as an old and august white-bearded Caucasian man.”

Interestingly, the study found that American Christians envision God as a younger man who is more loving. God’s characteristics varied depending on the participant’s own political beliefs and how they see themselves.

The study showed that, “The conservatives’ God was perceived as more masculine, older, more powerful, and wealthier than the liberals’ God, reflecting conservatives’ motivation for a God who enforces order. Conversely, liberals’ God was more African American and more loving than the conservatives’ God, reflecting their motivation for a God who encourages tolerance.”

Dr. Joshua Conrad Jackson, who led the study, said, “These biases might have stemmed from the type of societies that liberals and conservatives want.”

Researchers noted that older believers see an older God, while younger believers tend to select younger faces in the group of photos. More attractive believers saw a more attractive God, while many African American participants picture a more African American God.

Psychology professor Kurt Gray, the study’s senior author, explained that, “People often project their beliefs and traits onto others, and our study shows that God’s appearance is no different — people believe in a God who not only thinks like them, but also looks like them.”

God’s physical features may differ for each participant, but their perception of God’s gender is the same—all of the participants saw God as male.

The psychologists concluded that there is no single depiction of the face of God, even among believers in the same religion. “Even though American Christians express belief in a universal God, their perceptions of His face are not universally similar,” they wrote.

Sources:
Church Times
Daily Express

Joyce Dimaculangan
Joyce Dimaculangan
Joyce has more than 15 years experience writing news, industry articles and blogs for the private and public sectors. Most of her career was spent writing technical documentation for a software company in the Philippines. She earned a B.A. in Communication Arts with a concentration in writing from the University of the Philippines, Los Baños. During her leisure time, Joyce pursues her interest in reading fiction and playing with her dogs. She can be contacted at Joyce@onechristianvoice.com.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Share post:

Subscribe to our newsletter

To be the first to know what's happening in the Christian community

spot_imgspot_img

Popular

More like this
Related

Christian Groups Condemn Same-Sex Marriage Bill

More than 80 Christian groups in the US condemned the bill legalizing same-sex marriage. In a letter signed by 83 faith-based groups, it called the Senate to oppose the said bill which they claim is an attack on people of faith.

Ukrainian Kids Attend Bible Camps in Hungary

Ukrainian refugee children have enjoyed Bible camp despite being away from their homeland.

Bible Distribution Grew Despite Pandemic

The United Bible Societies (UBS) announced that around 32.6 million copies of the Bible were distributed in 2021, a 5.5% increase compared to the previous year.

Over 3,000 People Accept Jesus at UK Christian Festival

Festival Manchester, the largest Christian mission in the North West of England, attracted 65,000 people, with more that 3,000 Brits responding to the call of Christ.