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Immortality and Resurrection

  • Stewart R. Sutherland (a1)

Extract

In the last ten years or so there has been some lively discussion of the questions of immortality and resurrection. Within the Christian tradition there has been debate at theological and exegetical level over the relative merits of belief in the immortality of the soul, and belief in the resurrection of the dead as an account of life after death. Further to this, however, there has been the suggestion that there may be good philosophical reasons for preferring the latter to the former. It is just this contention which I propose to discuss.

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References

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page 377 note 1 See Immortality and Resurrection, ed. Stendahl, K., (N.Y., MacMillan) which includes O. Cullmann's ‘Immortality of the Soul or Resurrection of the Dead?’, as well as comment on the issues raised by Cullmann. See also, Barr, J., Old and New in Interpretation (S.C.M.), ch. 2, especially pp. 52–4, for a critique of Cullmann's methods and conclusions.

page 377 note 2 See Williams, B. A. O., ‘Personal Identity and Individuation’, P.A.S. 19561957.

page 378 note 1 Body, Mind and Death (N.Y. Collier, 1964), p. 5.

page 379 note 1 In a reply to some criticisms by R. C. Coburn (Analysis, vol. 20) in Analysis, vol. 21, p. 45.

page 379 note 2 See, for example, in addition to Coburn, Nerlich, G. C., Analysis 18.6. and 21.1, Shorter, J. M., Analysis 22.4, and Martin, C. B., Analysis 18.4, and Religious Belief ch. 6. (Cornell U.P., 1959).

page 379 note 3 We could mean that we intend to treat him as if he were Guy Fawkes, and either give him a share of the annual profits of fire-work companies, or alternatively ensure that he spends a rather unpleasant November 5th every year, but this is not to do more than indicate an attitude towards him. It is to avoid the question of what grounds there may be for the possibility of adopting such an attitude, and it is precisely this which is in question.

page 380 note 1 See ‘Survival and the Idea of “Another World”’ by Price, H. H., in Journal for the Society of Psychical Research vol. 37, 19531954, reprinted in Brain and Mind, ed. Smythies, (Routledge, 1965), references to the latter, except in the case of correspondence between Price and Flew, only available in the former.

page 380 note 2 ‘Individuals’, p. 102. It should also be noted here that although I claim that what he says here is largely compatible with Strawson's account of persons, Price points out that he believes Locke's account of personal identity to be nearer the truth, than what he calls the ‘somato-centric’ analysis of personal identity (p. 9).

page 381 note 1 See the extract from DrHick's, J. paper ‘Theology and Verification’ reprinted in Flew, Body, Mind and Death, p. 270.

page 382 note 1 As Price indicates finding this out may not be instantaneous but may be the end product of an inductive process, since it may involve learning how to distinguish ‘organic sensations’ from actually having a body by coming to learn what are the causal laws operating in the Next World.

page 386 note 1 The word ‘unequivocal’ is used here because in Shorter's story, there is a kind of continuity insofar as the post mortem body is already, so to speak, in cold storage, awaiting the moment when it comes to life and that body is continuous. But this does not affect my point.

page 387 note 1 It is only fair to Professor Price to point that it is to such a context that his paper belongs.

page 388 note 1 Philosophical Fragments tr. Swenson, (PrincetonU.P., 2nd edition, 1962), p. 57.

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