Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Resurrection of the Body, a Messy Idea Indeed...

The following is the first paragraph of an essay by Michael Novak. I found it worth pondering.
I've noticed among undergraduate students a difficulty accepting that Christians actually hold to the old Jewish belief of resurrection of the body and not to the Greek's, "immortality of the soul." Whether this issue arises while discussing Jesus' resurrection or the afterlife, I find myself explaining that Christians believe it is intrinsic to human beings to be physical in some way. Even if our current bodies are not prepared for permanence, Jesus' resurrection still indicates some sort of continuity, which Paul contemplates in the First Letter to the Corinthians. In our imaginations, the immortality of the soul is a less messy idea, if comfortably vague. When talking with my students, however, I argue that the idea of resurrection has more satisfying complex claims to make, wrapping together fundamental beliefs about being human, about the cosmos and the doctrine of Creation and our relation to our environment.  
- Michael Novak, The Man in the Mirror. America Magazine. Nov 12, 2012

The rest of the essay is a description of Novak's experience of having his facial appearance radically altered as a result of skin cancer.

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