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Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association

Volume 89, 2015

Analyzing Catholic Philosophy

Chad Engelland
Pages 245-261
DOI: 10.5840/acpaproc201610547

How Must We Be for the Resurrection to Be Good News?

While the promise of the resurrection appears wonderful, it is also perplexing: How can the person raised be one and the same person as the one that dies? And if the raised person is not the same, why should any of us mortals regard the promise of the resurrection as good news? In this paper, I articulate the part-whole structure of human nature that supports belief in the sameness of the resurrected person’s identity and the desirability of the resurrection: (1) the immaterial core of the person must survive the destruction of the body; (2) the person must nonetheless be incomplete apart from the body; and (3) the personal core must be the source for the personal identity of the resurrected body. In light of these criteria, I conclude by arguing that survivalism rather than corruptionism is the more compelling account of death and resurrection present in the thought of St. Thomas Aquinas.