The Resurrection: The State of the Questions

Gerald O'Collins

in The Resurrection

Published in print September 1998 | ISBN: 9780198269854
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191600517 | DOI:
 The Resurrection: The State of the Questions

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In his chapter Gerald O’Collins first summarizes current debates concerning the essential resurrection claim, the nature of the Easter appearances, the historicity of the empty tomb, and the credibility of resurrection faith. He then proposes questions that invite fuller examination in the historical, systematic, ethical, spiritual, and liturgical areas.

In his response to Gerald O’Collins’ paper, Peter Carnley focuses on his discussion of John Hick's suggestion that the Easter appearances may be explained as psychogenic projections, similar both to the experiences of those who have had near death ‘visions’ of light and of a person who is identified as ‘Jesus’ and the experiences of fleeting visions of a loved one by the recently bereaved. He concludes that at this distance and with the evidence at hand it is not possible with any confidence either to prove or disprove this hypothesis. Indeed, it is difficult even to establish criteria clearly to differentiate so‐called ‘objective’ visions from ‘subjective’ ones. The theology of the resurrection must concentrate less on a somewhat futile quest for the historical resurrected Jesus and more on an epistemology of faith capable of explaining how it is possible to identify the presence of the Spirit of Christ today as the presence of Jesus, the Crucified One.

Keywords: Carnley; O’Collins; credibility; Easter appearances; empty tomb; epistemology; ethic; historical; historicity; liturgical; near death visions; presence of Jesus; psychogenic projections; recently bereaved; Resurrection claim; Resurrection faith; Spirit of Christ; spiritual; systematic

Chapter.  15535 words. 

Subjects: Christian Theology

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