Around the Web September 2012 | body soul dualism in Christianity

This month a few  links  to explores the  issue of body-soul dualism in Christianity

  • “In search of the soul” series by Glenn Peoples

    In this episode of the Say Hello to my Little Friend podcast I start a four part series on philosophy of mind. I know I recently said that it would be a three part series, but hey, even four parts isn’t really enough to give the subject the full treatment it deserves. In part one I start with the dualist end of the spectrum. Today it’s Cartesian/Platonic dualism, which I take to be the most popular variety.

  •   Emergents and the rejection of body soul dualism/

    While not directly associated with emergents, New Testament interpreter Joel Green argues that humans are basically physical, based on the evidence of neuroscience, biblical studies, and philosophy.23 He argues that despite our English translations, terms in the original biblical languages do not offer clear support for either the soul as our essence or the existence of a disembodied, intermediate state.24 Furthermore, Green thinks we can survive death and yet be the same person, even though bodies continually change, and the person (and not merely the body) dies at death.25 He appeals to anarrative and relational unity of the person, which constitutes each of us, and these “are able to exist apart from neural correlates and embodiment only insofar as they are preserved in God’s own being, in anticipation of new creation.”26 Our unity lies in our sustained relationships and the stories of our lives.

    the author R. Scott Smith raises the question

    Much has changed about me. Yet, somehow, I am still the same person. How is that possible? The traditional answer (from Thomistic body-soul dualism) has been to appeal to the soul as our essence, which does not change essentially, yet can change accidentally. Our souls, as our set of ultimate capacities, remain fundamentally the same from conception through death and even beyond, and this grounds our personal identities, even though various capacities can be developed or blocked as we mature (e.g., intellectual and relational capacities can develop, but also decline as one gets older).

    What answers are available if we reject the soul as our essence?



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