Why a Bodily Resurrection?: The Bodily Resurrection and the Mind/Body Relation

Joshua Mugg, James T. Turner, Jr.


The doctrine of the resurrection says that God will resurrect the body that lived and died on earth—that the post-mortem body will be numerically identical to the pre-mortem body. After exegetically supporting this claim, and defending it from a recent objection, we ask: supposing that the doctrine of the resurrection is true, what are the implications for the mind-body relation? Why would God resurrect the body that lived and died on earth? We compare three accounts of the mind-body relation that have been applied to the doctrine of the resurrection: substance dualism, constitutionalism, and animalism. We argue that animalism offers a superior explanation for the necessity of the resurrection: since human persons just are their bodies, life after death requires resurrection of one’s body. We conclude (by inference to the best explanation) that those endorsing the doctrine of the resurrection should be animalists.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.12978/jat.v5i1.153


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The Journal of Analytic Theology is a joint publication of the Center for Philosophy of Religion at the University of Notre Dame and Baylor University.

ISSN 2330-2380 (online)