|Biblical Anthropology and the Body-Soul Problem|
|Source: Corcoran - Soul, Body and Survival, Chapter 13|
|Paper - Abstract|
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The problem of survival has been discussed so far only as regards its logical compatibility with certain controversial philosophical claims about the metaphysical nature of persons. But the notion of survival, especially when discussed in explicitly "resurrectionist" terms, has its home2 in the domain of religious and theological tradition. An important question is this: Despite the logical compatibility or incompatibility of survival and a metaphysics of materialism with respect to human persons, to what extent do the theological sources suggest a metaphysics of persons? Do the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures, for example, present a view of human persons that is more or less compatible with materialism or dualism? In "Biblical Anthropology and the Body-Soul Relation," John Cooper argues3 that the best reading of the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures yields the teaching that human persons continue to exist, probably consciously, between death and a final, general resurrection. Cooper believes that this doctrine entails that human persons are so constituted that they can exist temporarily without a body. And this, of course, would seem to entail that some variety of dualism is true.
Philosophers Index Abstract
This article surveys important texts in the Hebrew Bible, intertestamental Jewish religious literature, and the New Testament that relate views of the human constitution to views of what happens at death. It concludes that the biblical view of human nature is both holistic and dualistic: humans are unities of body, soul, and spirit; but conscious human persons exist without physical bodies until a final general resurrection. Thus, philosophical views that claim consistency with the Christian Bible must affirm both holism and dualism. But a number of philosophical views can do so. Scripture does not entail a specific philosophical anthropology.
Section III: Does Life After Death4 Require Dualism
Footnote 1: Taken from "Corcoran (Kevin) - Soul, Body and Survival: Introduction - Soul or Body?", p. 9-10.
Footnote 3: See "Cooper (John) - Body, Soul and Life Everlasting: Biblical Anthropology and the Monism-dualism Debate" for a longer argument – though one that is admittedly non-philosophical.
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