- Purgatory raises many interesting metaphysical, moral, and doctrinal issues. It has historically been a major point of contention between Christian denominations. Purgatory is most identified with the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church and contemporary Catholic philosophers typically construe the ante-mortem person and the disembodied1 soul in the hylomorphic framework of Aquinas.
- We’ll very briefly explore the origins on the doctrine of Purgatory, its biblical sources, Protestant rejection, and some ecumenical reconciliation.
- Then we’ll focus on the moral and metaphysical puzzles that Purgatory creates. We’ll concentrate upon the philosophical divisions between survivalist and corruptionist accounts of Purgatory. Both camps assume a hylomorphic framework.
- The survivalists believe the deceased person can persist in Purgatory prior to the resurrection with the soul as his only part.
- The corruptionists believe it is not the deceased person but just his soul that resides in Purgatory.
- Corruptionists face certain moral obstacles if the entity purged won’t be the agent of the earlier misconduct. Both sides must confront major metaphysical hurdles explaining the relationship of the soul to the person given that the posthumous soul contributes to thought in a manner quite different than it did when embodied.
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