The Image of God (Hebrew: צֶלֶם אֱלֹהִים, romanized: tzelem Elohim; Latin: Imago Dei) is a concept and theological doctrine in Judaism, Christianity, and Sufism of Islam, which asserts that human beings are created in the image and likeness of God. Philosophers and theologians have debated the exact meaning of the phrase for millennia. Following Jewish tradition, scholars such as Saadia Gaon and Philo argued that being made in the Image of God does not mean that God possesses human-like features, but rather that the statement is figurative language for God bestowing special honor unto humankind, which He did not confer unto the rest of Creation. Likewise, Maimonides argues that it is consciousness and the ability to speak which is the "image of God;" both faculties which differentiate mankind from animals, and allow man to grasp concepts and ideas that are not merely instinctual.
In Christian thought, the Image of God that was present in Adam at creation was partially lost with the Fall of man and that through the atoning sacrifice of Jesus on the cross, humans can be reunited with God. Christian writers have stated that despite the Image of God being partially lost, each person fundamentally has value regardless of class, race, gender or disability. Although the varying interpretations of the exact meaning of being made in the, “Image of God,” are many, the concept is a foundational doctrine of Christianity and Judaism.