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Monday, January 11, 2021

Body and Soul in Patristic and Byzantine Thought

For better or worse, much theology--Protestant, Catholic, and Orthodox--has for the better part of four decades now at least been rather interested in all things somatic. Along comes another volume, published just a month ago, to advance our understanding of The Unity of Body and Soul in Patristic and Byzantine Thought, eds., Anna Usacheva, Jörg Ulrich, and Siam Bhayro (Verlag Ferdinand Schoeningh, 2020), 350pp.

About this collection the publisher tells us this: 

This volume explores the long-standing tensions between such notions as soul and body, spirit and flesh, in the context of human immortality and bodily resurrection. The discussion revolves around late antique views on the resurrected human body and the relevant philosophical, medical and theological notions that formed the background for this topic. Soon after the issue of the divine-human body had been problematised by Christianity, it began to drift away from vast metaphysical deliberations into a sphere of more specialized bodily concepts, developed in ancient medicine and other natural sciences. To capture the main trends of this interdisciplinary dialogue, the contributions in this volume range from the 2nd to the 8th centuries CE, and discuss an array of figures and topics, including Justin, Origen, Bardaisan, and Gregory of Nyssa. 

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