- Rabbinic Judaism, Christianity, and Islam agree that there is life after death1. Moreover, all three religions agree that we shall not spend eternity as mere spirits or as disembodied2 souls. Instead, we shall have hands and feet and size and shape. For we shall have bodies. And not just any bodies. Each of us will have the very same body that he or she had in this life, although that body will be 'glorified'. Each of us can have the same body because, at some point in the future, all those bodies that have died will rise again to new life. That is, dead bodies will be resurrected. Indeed we ourselves shall be resurrected. This is the doctrine of the resurrection of the body.
- This chapter will focus on two questions about the doctrine of the resurrection, questions that will occur to most philosophers and theologians interested in identity in general, and in personal identity in particular. The first question is: How could a body that at the end of this life was (e.g.) frail and feeble be the very same body as a resurrection body, a body that will not be frail or feeble, but will instead be glorified? Moreover, how could a body that has passed out of existence — perhaps as a result of decay or cremation — come back into existence on the Day of Resurrection?
- The second question is: Why? Why would anyone want a resurrection of the body? And even if the resurrection delivers something that we want — maybe one’s current body has some sentimental value so having it back would be nice – we might still wonder why any religion would give the doctrine a central place, as Judaism, Christianity, and Islam all do.
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