You need a body to be alive

Theology is a contextually relevant field. That is to say, it applies to specific contexts; in specific times and places. This has recently become important in the field of contextual theologies where one sees that theological insight and understanding can be unique based on race, gender, and class. This insight also shows us that theology in the past has been based on time and place too. This very idea is elemental in how one reads the Bible and understands contemporary theological and philosophical issues, and also in how one reads and does theology throughout time. The sensitivity that one has when it comes to matters like this expands his or her tolerance and decreases his or her certitude about metaphysical matters, most of which are highly speculative. Humility in matters that are this speculative leads not only to ecumenicity but also in understanding. This humility is demonstrated not just in tolerance of differing views, but also in refraining from unnecessarily contradicting classical doctrine that ceases to be relevant today. For example, the language and the problems of the early Councils and Creeds are largely foreign for us today; we simply use a different ontological vernacular. That does not assign meaning or value to the language of the past, but it does make disagreeing about largely agreed upon doctrine counterproductive. Counterproductive in the sense that the differences between the present and past are so philosophically distinct and contextually separate that there is an immaterial value in correcting the doctrine because it means nothing, practically speaking.

With that said, when old language and theology remains relevant thousands of years later across continents and throughout a variety of faith traditions and philosophies, it is worth more than mere tolerance. One such issue is that of ontological value of the physical human body. It is a question that the writers of the New and Old Testament are interested in, and one that surfaces in the patristic, medieval, modern, and postmodern period. It has philosophical and ethical implications that are well outside of the Christian narrative, as well. I will survey a variety of sources on the matter – theological, biblical, historical, and scientific – and use the evidence I gather to conclude that one’s body is elemental to one’s life, and in fact one and the same. Put another way, one cannot meaningfully exist, nay, cannot exist at all, without her or his body. By meaningfully exist, I mean exist in a knowable way, one that would not surprise the living.

Oscar Cullman showcases the differences between the ideas of immortal souls and resurrected bodies.[1] For the Christian, the answer to this question is elemental in answering the larger question I seek to answer here. Are human souls immortal (or do they even exist) or does the salvific work of Jesus Christ resurrect our bodies?

Cullman plainly states that the idea of Greek immortality is “incompatible” with Christianity. He writes, “If one recognizes that death and eternal life in the New Testament are always bound up with the Christ-event, then it becomes clear that for the first Christian the soul is not intrinsically immortal, but rather became so only through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, and through faith in him.”[2] Cullman argues that the Gospel of John’s seeming presentation of eternal life only works insofar as the Fourth Gospel assumes “the Christ-event.”

But there is a tension between Hellenistic thought and Christian thought. And it needs to be noted that the Gospels are accommodating to a Hellenistic context without explicitly being Hellenistic. Adaptation to cultural contexts does not mean assimilation to them. Hence the need to be conscious of the need for contextual theology, without cementing its contours as elemental to orthodox theology. Nevertheless, that tension plays itself out when one views Plato’s description of the death of Socrates. To Plato, the body is the “outer garment” of the soul, and it inhibits the immortality of our soul (in 2 Cor. 5, Paul will make a similar argument, but says that God will grant humankind with a new “tent,” or “outer garment,” so to speak). Death is a friend that allows one to escape the confines of his or her body. To Plato death is a “great liberator.” Death is something to be embraced, not feared.[3]

Now, Jesus’ death is much different. Jesus trembles and is distressed in death. He has a natural fear of death, a fear that is conditionally given to him because of his physical incarnation. In other words, his body is crucial to his fear of death. Compare this to Socrates, who believed one has a mind and thought beyond one’s body and considered death a welcome friend to release one’s soul from the body. The theology and philosophy here is fundamentally different and juxtaposed. Death for Jesus is not something to be embraced, but feared. Cullman argues, “It is useless to try to explain away Jesus’ fear as reported by the Evangelists.”[4]

In the death scene itself, Socrates happily drinks the hemlock whereas Jesus cries out about his God forsaking him. Paul further calls death an enemy, as well. The entire Christian narrative is about the conquest of death as a means to salvation, Cullman argues. What needs to be destroyed in Christian salvation is death; contrast that with Platonist philosophy, where what needs to be destroyed is the body. “Christianity is governed by the belief in the Resurrection,” and immortality is granted to the body through resurrection; in Platonist philosophy where the soul is already eternal, once it is released from the encumbrance of the body.[5]

These debates were very common during the Patristic period as well. Justin Martyr in particular notably addresses the Christian and Greek conflict listed above. Justin Martyr offers an address regarding the Resurrection that holds together some of the earliest thoughts on the subject. This very work is foundational in the church’s understanding of the connection of body and soul. Justin directly addresses the Platonist idea that flesh is the root of sin and must be done away with. He argues that those who say Jesus appeared in the flesh “rob the flesh of the promise” (of salvation). Ultimately, the disagreement between the Greeks that Justin is addressing and he is the negative meaning and value assigned to the body. He writes, “But that the flesh is with God a precious possession is manifest, first from its being formed by Him, if at least the image is valuable to the creator and artist; and besides, its value can be gathered from the creation of the rest of the world.” He goes on to argue that a human being is both the bonding of a soul and a body, and argues that Jesus saves the entire human, not just the soul, or the body. The resurrection of Jesus, according to Justin, is bodily and so humankind’s resurrection will be too. This simple address that Justin offers points to the early nature of this problem, but it is one that lingers throughout time and has many contemporary consequences.[6] It is noteworthy however that much of Justin Martyr’s notions are in fact Aristotelian in nature, and simply counter Platonist arguments in a similar way that Aristotle would have. [7] This symmetry puts the discussion back into the Greek arena in that Aristotle argues that the soul is inextricably linked to the body.[8]

Tertullian addresses the pagan hatred of the flesh in one of his works. He writes a polemic against the Sadducee’s opposition to the resurrection, which he links to pagan belief. He argues against the moiety of resurrection, where the soul is resurrected but not the body. In doing so, he must highlight the “excellence” of the flesh, made known by the Incarnation itself. Tertullian argues that because God created the flesh it is not evil, and it in fact precedes the soul. The skill and dignity of the maker must be considered when noting the value of the flesh, he goes on. God elevates the significance of the flesh, it is the highest work of creation. He goes on to cite the Old and the New Testament in support of his argument of the resurrection of the flesh. It is noteworthy that the patristic sources are arguing against a fleshless resurrection, but the question at hand ponders a fleshless life and consciousness before resurrection.[9]

The idea of the united body and soul is countered by the Gnostics. Christian Gnosticism offers another sort of “body theology.” Gnosticism revolves around special knowledge that Jesus offers to those he saves.[10] Gnostics agree with the writers of the Bible that evil is at odds with God, but they do not agree on its origin. Biblical writers seem to believe that evil in the world mainly comes from human sin, but Gnostics think it is part of the “fabric of the material world,” which includes one’s body. The afterlife for the Gnostic is not dissimilar to the Platonist perspective. Salvation for the Gnostic comes from escaping the body. They imagine an afterlife in a fleshless body and even imagine Jesus’ resurrection as such.[11] In Nag Hammadi’s writings, he argues that “the resurrection is not at all an illusion, but that neither does it involve some kind of crass revivification of the material body, which itself is illusory.”[12] The resurrection itself is spiritual in its nature, just as heaven is a spiritual home. This truly does not sound much different than the Platonist takes. For the Gnostic, Jesus’ physical form was transformed during the resurrection. Before appearing in the world, people were not of flesh, and after leaving they will not be. The material world will perish along with one’s body, according to Gnostic thought. The Early Church rooted out Gnosticism.[13] So, while there is not theological evidence that dualism and the separation of the body and soul are not possible, we can assume that the Early Church largely disapproved of such a notion.
But it is within reason to note that this might be overstating an argument. The separation of the soul and the body might be evidenced by Jesus when he, in the Gospel of Matthew, for example, speaks of literal dismemberment. Myrick Shinall discusses this perhaps unusual approach to the text in an essay. What Shinall addresses here are the moments in the Gospel of Matthew that seem to refer to dismemberment. [14] These are the portions in the text where Jesus seems to refer to cutting up one’s body or dismembering parts of one’s body. Is there a Hellenistic influence on later New Testament texts (later than Paul, particularly)? [15] Cullman above seems to say not, but this approach to dismemberment has a Hellenistic, Platonist, and Gnostic feel to it. It is especially fascinating because much of the language that seems to support dismemberment is from Jesus himself. Jesus talks about taking charge of one’s body, which seems to support Greek dualism. This clear dialogue presents major problems for modern and ancient theologians who claim dualism is not in the Christian tradition. Shinall refers to dismemberment in Hellenistic and Hebrew literature as well as Second Temple Judaism.[16] This essay serves the purpose of describing the forgone conclusion that many ancient and contemporary scholars seem to offer when they refute dualism.[17] It is an important voice to show us that the text is limited in its ability to address this question.

John Cooper argues that we have overstated the case against dualism in a more conservative theological critique. What Cullman calls manifestly in the text, Cooper softens (not unlike Shinall above). Cooper notes that it is popular in Christian circles today to refute Christian dualism. “Dualism has fallen on hard times among biblical scholars and theologians,” he writes.[18]  But they may be overstating their case. For Cooper, the Christian needs to choose between what he calls “long-held Christian doctrine” and “inconsistency.”[19]  His tone against anti-dualists is nearly polemical! He claims his goal is not to defend dualism, but rather he wonders whether “dualophobia” is sound philosophy.[20]  He states competently the claim of anti-dualists, but writes that they read too much into the biblical text to undo its Greek influence. In fact, they use an anachronistic reading based on Hegel to come to their conclusion that the human body is an “integral unity.”[21] Cooper’s argument is that though the Bible does not offer Platonic dualism, it is hardly “pro-holist,” either.[22]  However, he notes that the Bible itself is not philosophically complete and one should not place too much philosophical burden on it. The complications that dualism and holism receive from the apparently indifferent writers of the New Testament is noteworthy primarily because they expose the sufficiency of the text itself. The Bible gives us clues to the answer to the question at hand, but does not sufficiently answer it.

Cooper’s argument addresses some theologians’ insistence of undoing the Greek ideas of body and soul fairly assertively. It is worth noting that the New Testament in particular is not philosophically sorted to answer questions as didactically as one may wish today. That does not denude the value of this discussion, but gives one a chance to soften a hard stance; the ground one stands on in this discussion is necessarily abstract, so it is important not to develop an argument that is unrealistically firm.

John Hick actually addresses this very idea in his notion of eschatological verification. Christian statements regarding eschatology and resurrection are not necessarily false, they just cannot be proven within the limits of human life on earth. There will come a time, the eschaton, when such verification is possible.[23] Though Hick’s assertion does not leave one with secure ground for making an argument today, as in this very paper, he does propose that humans will have physical bodies in the age to come that are significant enough to make empirical observations. Hick then affirms the lack of need for dualism (the separation of human body and soul). He does say that one’s resurrected body will be of a different material, but stops short of saying it is a soul of any kind or disembodied in anyway. It is simply a different body. That does not refute my thesis that one cannot live meaningfully without a body. If the only answer is eschatologically verifiable, however, it makes the question interesting, but less plausibly refutable (despite Hick’s theory).[24]

Gooch notes some limits of Hick’s eschatology, notably that it relies too much on Christology and does not address the aforementioned form of our resurrected bodies. Gooch goes on to argue that Paul’s vision for resurrected body is “ontologically the same as a disembodied person.” He is careful to note that Paul lacked the contemporary philosophical framework for such a discussion.[25] Elemental to this discussion is the idea that Paul says that our bodies in the age to come will be changed in some ways to our current ones. Most theologians agree that Paul’s use of the word “soma” refers to a body, but it also is used generally enough by Paul to mean something closer to object. Paul’s use of this spiritual body is not clear enough to confirm his belief in bodily resurrection as many conceive of it. Meanwhile, the chief concerns of some theologians regarding the state of the body after resurrection is rooted in the ability to physically identify one another in the age to come. But since Paul lists the body as different, “How will the criterion of bodily identity help us at all if the resurrection body is as Paul claims it is?”[26] If the body is materially different, but similar in appearance, could not disembodiment fulfill this need as well? Gooch notes that there is a philosophical need for those in favor of a physical resurrection body to disparage the idea of an ethereal, immaterial, and apparently impersonal one. But Gooch argues that God is both ethereal and impersonal—if God, why not humans?[27] This contradiction leads Gooch to settle on the paradox of the anti-dualist Christian philosophy.

N.T. Wright challenges this notion when he cites 1 Corinthians 6 where Paul argues that what one does with his or her body on earth matters in eternity. Moral behavior with one’s body now matters because one will live on in eternity.[28] Wright further retorts that “Paul declares that ‘flesh and blood cannot inherit God’s kingdom.” He doesn’t mean that physicality will be above redemotion. ‘Flesh and blood’ is a technical term for that which is corruptible, transient, heading for death.” The contrast is not between the spiritual and the physical. But the corruptible and incorruptible. What is done in the present body matters in eternity because it will be there with resurrected humans.[29]

Joel B. Green notes that the NRSV’s use of “spiritual body” as opposed to “physical body” in 15:44 is “unfortunate.” He goes on, “Paul underscores an essential continuity grounded in the import of the body to human existence and identity in this life and in life-after death.” Paul draws a distinction between soma psychikon and soma pneumatikon, the first is subject to decay, and that necessarily offers a new body, free from decay.[30] The immortal embodiment then is not a matter of something intrinsic in the psychikos, rather a gift given to humanity from God. Wright expands this argument, and notes that, “Had Paul wanted in any way to produce the kind of contrast suggested to the reader by ‘physical’ and ‘spiritual,’ not only would pneumatikos have been an unhelpful word to have used for the later idea, but psychikos would be the exact the wrong word to use for the former.” That term, Wright argues, could be literally defined as “soulish.”[31] Wright argues that Greek readers would actually assume what is being contrasted with psychikos would be even more “substantial.”[32]

In 2 Corinthians 4 and 5, Paul makes the argument that our “tent,” which is “falling apart,” will be embodied by a new one. “What Paul anticipates, then, is a new form of bodily existence, one that is well-suited to eternity with God in heaven.” The new body God provides is not traded for the old but rather subsumes the old. Paul does in fact speak in dualistic terms, but in “eschatological” dualistic terms (as opposed to “anthropological”). He does not undo the idea of bodily ontology, but rather “contrasts the now and not-yet.”[33] Green and Wright both retort Gooch’s theory.

However, what is clear is that one cannot put too much weight on the text or even use patristic arguments to answer the question at hand. The text and the fathers tend to refute the notion of the separation of the soul and body, and the New Testament seems to be making a decidedly anti-Socratic argument, but it is not clear cut enough to answer the question. So, we move toward contemporary theological thought before concluding with decidedly secular scientific thought.

Barth writes, “Through the Spirit of God, man is the subject, form and life of a substantial organism, the soul of his body—wholly and simultaneously both, in ineffaceable difference, inseparable unity, and indestructible order.”[34] Barth argues that bodies and souls are indestructibly connected, to destroy one would be to destroy the other. “[Human’s] being exists, and is therefore soul; and it exists in a certain form, and is therefore body.”[35] Jesus exemplifies this with his “embodied soul” and “besouled body.”[36] Barth reinforces this basic principle by noting that humans are like Jesus, inseparable as God and man, likewise, humans are inseparable in terms of soul and body. Barth is dualistic in a sense, because he lists soul and body as part of the human, but says they are inseparable. This language is quite similar to Chalcedonian descriptions of Jesus himself.

Wright argues that “bodily resurrection is…the element that gives shape and meaning to the rest of the story we tell about God’s ultimate purpose.” Wright argues that the early Christians were “remarkably unanimous” on the topic of life after death.[37] He goes to cite, Philippians 3 speaking of the “glorious body” that Jesus will bring into fullness, as well as Colossians 3 which speaks to the present reality, in our bodies, in which Christ’s glory will be revealed. And concludes with Romans 8, a strong argument, where Wright argues that Paul says, “the one who raised the Messiah from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies…not to a disembodied spirit…but “to your mortal bodies also.”[38] To him, human bodies in the age to come will be immortal, in the sense that no destructive power will have an effect on them, but he distinctly argues against the aforementioned Platonist view of the immortal soul.[39] Even so, there is too limited information in theological speculation and biblical interpretation to answer this question.

Although the text is insufficiently clear on the matter, Moltmann’s theology of creation opens new possibilities that augment New Testament textual arguments that oppose Platonist dualism. He argues that the Platonist disregard for theology “can hardly be reconciled with the biblical belief in creation, even though the church’s theology took over the idea at an early stage and has continued…down to this day.”[40]

Moltmann follows with Descartes, arguing that the body is merely like a machine, and its soul, really its thinking part, is the life in it. Quoting Descartes, Moltmann writes, “I am not aware of my body as the mariner is aware of his vessel, but that I am intimately linked with it, and as it were, mingled with it, so that together we form a certain unity.” Descartes does not reduce the thinking part of our selves to the brain alone however, but sees the thinking subject as dominating the object. “The relation of the non-extended, thinking mind or subject to its non-thinking, relationship of domination and ownership: I am the thinking object and I have my body. The ‘I’ stands over against its body, which it commands and utilizes as its property.”[41] The dichotomy makes the body unessential and finite, replaceable and interchangeable; according to Descartes then, human consciousness, or the thinking ‘I’ could conceivably be downloaded into another machine or an android. Damasio notes similarly, “This is Descartes’ error: the abyssal separation between body and mind…the suggestion that reasoning, and moral judgment, and the suffering that comes from physical pain or emotional upheaval might exist separately from the body.”[42] (In fact, this argumentation is, in a sense, opposed to Platonist theory that says that the body oppresses the soul. Here Descartes is arguing that pain can be experienced beyond the body).

He concludes with Barth, who he argues that “the human act of living” exclusive as thinking and willing. A person, he says, is under the domination of his body. What it means to be human is to command oneself. The soul rules the body, and there can be no harmony between the two; one commands oneself to obey God. This is not unlike how Jesus command himself to obey the Father. Moltmann further lampoons Barth, “The relationship of heaven to earth in cosmology, the relationship of the soul to the body in psychology, the relationship of man and woman in anthropology” all connect to the same order. Moltmann concludes, “A world with an ‘order’ of this kind can hardly be called a peaceful one.”[43]

In his telling of the Yahwist’s creation narrative, Moltmann notes that humans are both souls and flesh. They are always whole, reemphasized in the Shema (and later in Matthew and Luke). The theology of the Old Testament is less about how a human defines his or herself, but more about the sense of who he or she is in history. “The human being has really no substance in [him or herself]; [he or she] is a history.” [44] For Moltmann, the human being, whatever his or her “parts” are, operates as a community, not unlike his Trinity.[45]

Green connects the theology of Moltmann to the biblical arguments of Wright, Cullman, and others, and begins the dialogue with science. For what is theology and biblical answers to the question of ontology without empirical evidence? Hick argues that empirical evidence will come in the afterlife, but perhaps there is some empirical data for us in the present.

Green develops an argument for a whole body conversion in the Lukan narrative, but begins with the idea of neuroplasticity. He argues that individuals who undergo conversion experience neurobiological changes. What this may portend is that there is not inner or outer conversion or redemption of a human, but that a human being cannot effectively be separated in inner or outer components and that, essentially, cannot be meaningfully alive alone. This sort of experience is corroborated in other fields, including psychotherapy.[46] Green extends this idea further, by claiming that the narrative in Luke-Acts does not “rule out” inner life, individual, or humanity, but links those three to outer life, community, and also creation. Humans cannot be separated into inner and outer spheres, humans cannot be separated as individuals, and humankind cannot be separated from the rest of creation, the very dust into which it was created.[47]

The Lukan narrative of the resurrection offers further emphasis on the importance of the body in one’s resurrection. To make his point above, Cullman contrasts Socrates’ death and Jesus’ death, here Luke is emphasizing body in resurrection. “Jesus goes to great lengths to establish his physicality.” He emphasizes his physicality, in sight, in touch, and even in eating food.[48] This motif is also found in the Johannine narrative. More than just being alive in the context of one’s being, Green reverbs Moltmann, noting the idea that Jesus does not just resurrect in his body, but also in a relationship with God and a nation, and by extension the whole world.[49]

Moving beyond this intersection of faith and science, one finds scientific sources that explicitly undo the idea of disembodied consciousness. The matter at hand at this junction is an ethical one, and not necessarily a doctrinal one. It brings one to the relevance of the question at large: what does it mean to try to disembody consciousness? Less concerned with the threat of Platonist dualism on eschatology, these consider the ethics and possibilities of living without bodies.

Harle addresses the specific idea of disembodied consciousness and he wonders how long a human being can live within his or her biological body, or if there are another “container” of sorts that a human being might prolong their consciousness through. Harle’s premise is rooted in the overconfident simplicity of science which did not consider the interconnectedness and complexity of the body. “No religion, spiritual system nor science (not even Quantum Theory of Immortality) that has one shred of evidence or can propose even a reasonable mechanism whereby consciousness of self can exist sans body.”[50] Without considering this complexity at least, the idea that we might substantively live beyond our bodies can barely be approached. Harle calls it Uploading. To answer this question, he proposes to define what living means. It is not memory alone, so he includes connection and interaction with the environment, and with the body, perhaps. In order to have consciousness within another body, that “conscious machine” needs to have an “illusory self.”[51] He concludes that such Uploading is impossible because the “brain-mind-body is a unified system.” He argues that the brain alone cannot sustain consciousness, and that physicality and a body is required for life itself.[52] Uploading consciousness relies on the premise that the physical brain is digital in its essence, but Harle argues that it is analogue:

“The real complex-system that is the human being is analogue not digital. Copying from analogue to digital is by no means an exact science and in fact may by its very nature be impossible to execute with perfect accuracy. The brain has aspects of its operation which are of a digital nature—the firing of a pulse along an axon for example; however, the overall brain cannot be considered digital. To confound the issue, the brain appears to be both digital and analogue.”[53]

Harle adds some scientific and philosophical fuel to Moltmann’s anti-Cartesian argument.

So what I have ended up with is a series of arguments surrounding the idea of the separation of body and soul, of body and consciousness. I conclude with Harle’s assessment because it is the plainest explanation, without any of the encumbrances of theological requirements or biblical limitations, that it is, thus far, not possible to be meaningfully alive without a body. Insofar as it has not happened on earth thus far, it is simply a matter of speculation whether or not this is possible. It is a philosophical question, as its core, and because we have little-to-no empirical data that affirms disembodied consciousness, one is left to doubt its possibility as a matter of fact.

So for the Christian, the question has philosophical and ethical bearing. Cullman offers a plain argument that the death of Jesus and Socrates offer different values to the body and different emotional responses to death, in general. Justin and Tertullian countered popular Platonist ideas as well as Gnostic ideas (we also see this in the Lukan narrative as described by Green). Cooper and Shinall both make the argument that anti-dualism is not as manifestly in the text, so it is necessary to turn to other sources. And the occasion of the Patristic argument against Platonist dualism contextualizes it, but does not answer the question in any relevant way for today for humanity, even if it does for the orthodox Christian. Gooch deconstructed Hick’s eschatological verification, drawing into question the non-dualist interpretation of Paul in 1 Cor. 15, but Green and Wright offer compelling arguments as to why Paul was not creating an explicitly physical and metaphysical dualist eschatology. Barth offers a specific theory of dualism, and its inseparability, which is largely based on hierarchy (and has some echos of Chalcedon). And on his way to deconstructing Barthian theory, Moltmann addresses both the insufficiency of Plato and Descartes, and leads his reader to an idea of communal unity of body and soul, not unlike communal unity of the Trinity. Finally, Green notes that there are neurological changes that occur in our conversion, not just immaterial ones; and the inseparability of the “body-mind-soul” leads Harle, a secular theorist, to conclude that disembodied consciousness is not possible.

Though the biblical text’s opposition to Platonist dualism is debatable, it seems to me that Luke and Paul, who I drew from most here, are primarily interested in refuting this notion at large. There is theological consequence to this matter, in that it affects how we treat our bodies. There is eschatological consequence because it affects how we view the resurrection. But there is also ethical consequence because it affects how we treat one another and even the very creation around us. If we are to be resurrected, so will the earth around us. Our future is embodied and so that leads us to care for both community and creation.

But the inseparability of body and life leads us to wonder about the postmodern deconstruction of form and meaning, of content and container in general. The risk with this philosophy at large is that one overemphasizes form as definitive. It is conceivable to conclude that bodies are elemental to life and to meaning and idealize a certain kind of body. We need to approach this problem with care, because in noting that a body is critical for life, we should also note that it is arbitrary in its appearance. But its arbitrariness does not negate its meaning. Meaning needs a container. It needs definition, however variable that definition may be. In terms of ecclesiology, however, it leads us to wonder if one can have faith and a life with God without community. This leads to thoughts about not only whether one can be alive without a body, but if one can be meaningfully alive without relationships, altogether. Is one meaningfully alive by him or herself? Is one meaningfully alive without being rooted in creation?

[1] Oscar Cullman, Immortality of the Soul or Resurrection of the Dead?: The Witness of the New Testament, (Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock, 1964.

[2] Ibid., 17.

[3] Ibid., 21.

[4] Ibid., 22.

[5] Ibid., 26-27.

[6] Justin Martyr, On The Resurrection, translated by Marcus Dods, From Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. 1, edited by Alexander Roberts, James Donaldson, and A. Cleveland Coxe,(Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1885), revised and edited for New Advent by Kevin Knight,

[7] A.P. Bos, 2002, “‘Aristotelian’ and ‘platonic’ dualism in Hellenistic and early Christian philosophy and in Gnosticism,” Vigiliae Christianae 56, no. 3: 273-291. ATLA Religion Database with ATLASerials, EBSCOhost (accessed December 14, 2017), 280.

[8] Ibid., 281.

[9] Tertullian, On the Resurrection of the Flesh, translated by Peter Holmes, From Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. 3, edited by Alexander Roberts, James Donaldson, and A. Cleveland Coxe, (Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1885.), revised and edited for New Advent by Kevin Knight,

[10] Bart D. Ehrman, Lost Christianities: The Battles for Scripture and the Faiths We Never Knew, (New York: Oxford University Press, 2003), 114.

[11] Ibid., 131.

[12] Ibid.

[13] Ibid., 132.

[14] Myrick Shinall, “Dismemberment, dualism, and theology of the body in the Gospel of Matthew,” Biblical Theology Bulletin 44, no. 4 (November 2014): 185-194. ATLA Religion Database with ATLASerials, EBSCOhost (accessed March 29, 2018), 186..

[15] Ibid., 187.

[16] Ibid., 188-89.

[17] Ibid., 192.

[18] John W. Cooper, 1982, “Dualism and the biblical view of human beings (1),” Reformed Journal 32, no. 9: 13-16, ATLA Religion Database with ATLASerials, EBSCOhost (accessed December 14, 2017), 13.

[19] Ibid.

[20] Ibid.

[21] Ibid., 14.

[22] Ibid., 15.

[23]  P.W. Gooch, “On Disembodied Resurrected Persons: A Study in the Logic of Christian Eschatology,” Religious Studies 17, no. 2 (1981): 199-213,, 200.

[24] Ibid., 202-203.

[25] Ibid., 204.

[26] Ibid., 211.

[27] Ibid., 213.

[28] N.T. Wright, The Resurrection of the Son of God. Christian Origins and the Question of God, Vol. 3, (Minneapolis: Fortress, 2003), 289.

[29] N.T. Wright, Surprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church, (New York: HarperCollins, 2008), 156.

[30] Joel Green, Body, Soul, and Human Life: The Nature of Humanity in the Bible. Studies in Theological Interpretation, (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic: 2008), 173.

[31] Wright, RSG, 251.

[32] Ibid., 350.

[33] Green, 176.

[34] Karl Barth,. Church Dogmatics. The Doctrine of Creation. Vol. III, Part 2,eEdited by G.W. Bromiley and T.F. Torrance. Trans. Harold Knight, G. W. Bromiley J.K.S. Reid, R.H. Fuller, (Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1960), 325.

[35] Ibid.

[36] Ibid., 327.

[37] Wright, Surprised, 148.

[38] Ibid., 149.

[39] Ibid., 160.

[40] Jurgen Moltmann, God in Creation, (Minneapolis, N: Fortress Press: 1993), 250.

[41] Ibid., 251.

[42] Anthony Damasio, Descartes’ Error: Emotion, Reason, and the Human Brain, (New York: Penguin Books: 2005), 250.

[43] Moltmann, 253-255.

[44] Ibid., 256-257.

[45] Ibid., 264.

[46] Green,115-116.

[47] Ibid., 138.

[48] Ibid., 167.

[49] Ibid., 169.

[50] Rob Harle, “Disembodied Consciousness and the Transcendence of the Limitations of the Biological Body,” Janus Head, 9.2 (Winter/Spring2007): 595.

[51] Ibid., 592.

[52] Ibid., 596.

[53] Ibid., 600.