Redemption, the Resurrected Body, and Human Nature

Dr. Stephen T. Davis, PhD

Learn more about this Routledge Research Companion to Theological Anthropology and this chapter contribution!

In answer to the question, “What us human nature?”, we might ask: What are the essential properties of being human? Is being embodied one such property? The answer you give will depend both on your metaphysics (e.g., whether you are a dualist or a physicalist) and your theology (e.g., whether you think there will be an “interim period” between your death and the general resurrection).

A distinction must be made between minimal dualism, expansive dualism, and the anthropology that most Christians have held. It is based on dualism, and thus affirms that human beings can for a time exist as disembodied souls, but also holds that human beings, in their most complete and perfect form, are embodied persons, and will be so in heaven. Those bodies will be transformed “glorified” bodies and in them we will see God.

For Further Study

  • Which counts for more in deciding on a Christian anthropology, philosophical or theological considerations?
  • How exactly does a glorified body differ from an ordinary earthly body?
  • What exactly is the beatific vision?