The Resurrection of the Body

Trenton Merricks

in The Oxford Handbook of Philosophical Theology

Published in print March 2011 | ISBN: 9780199596539
Published online September 2009 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Religion and Theology

 The Resurrection of the Body

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This article focuses 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? How could a body that at the end of this life was frail and feeble be the very same body as a resurrection body, a body which 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 and 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.

Keywords: resurrection; Christian doctrine; philosophical theology; personal identity; body; Christianity; Judaism; Islam

Article.  7603 words. 

Subjects: Religion ; Philosophy of Religion ; Comparative Religion ; Christianity

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