The Interior Castle: The Soul and Competing Visions of the Church

Dr. Sarah Borden Sharkey, PhD

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What it might mean to be part of the church, or the Body of Christ? That is the overarching question for this paper.

This paper focuses on models of the soul and asks how each model might understand our unity as a church. The paper focuses on two models: a ‘castle model,’ in honor of Teresa of Avila’s image of the soul as an interior castle, and a ‘capacity model,’ following the broadly Aristotelian-Thomistic tradition.

Although these two models do not map perfectly onto any single thinker, they mark out tendencies and emphases that characterize a number of important thinkers, and they map, more or less, onto philosophical discussions of dualism and hylomorphism.

This paper articulates key features of each model, responding briefly to significant concerns relevant to ecclesiology, and then reflect on how adopting that model might shape ecclesiology.

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