An Unwelcome Guest: A Response to My Critics

Dr. Joshua R. Farris, PhD

The present article is a response to my critics of The Soul of Theological Anthropology from the 2018 EPS at AAR annual conference. The panel was comprised of one science-engaged theological materialist (Sarah Lane Ritchie), one historical philosopher (Jesse Couenhoven), one systematic theologian (Paul Allen), and one analytic theologian (J.T. Turner). Two of the four critics responded from the perspective of some version of Thomist hylomorphism (i.e., Turner and Allen). Another responded from a sympathetic position toward either constitutional materialism or some version of hylomorphism, (i.e., Couenhoven) and the final one responded from a broadly materialist standpoint (i.e., Ritchie).The concerns raised vary from dogmatic objections to Cartesianism, methodological, philosophical, and theological.

My intent has been to address all of the concerns raised by my critics and give reasons why Cartesianism fares better than alternative anthropologies in a cost-benefit analysis. I begin by prefacing general methodological and dogmatic considerations. Finally, I spend a considerable amount of time on objections from the nature of the body’s relation to the soul and eschatological considerations of the resurrection body.

If there was one central concern, then it would be a concern of the role of the body to the soul both protologically and eschatologically. I conclude that when we weigh all the issues Cartesianism has several benefits over the competitors, and bodily concerns can be alleviated.

The full-text of the paper is available for FREE by clicking hereThe paper is part of an ongoing EPS web project focused on a Philosophy of Theological Anthropology.