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Philosophia Christi

Volume 14, Issue 1, 2012

Alvin Plantinga's New Argument Against Materialism

Nathan A. Jacobs
Pages 79-108
DOI: 10.5840/pc20121417

Are Created Spirits Composed of Matter and Form?
A Defense of Pneumatic Hylomorphism

In this essay, I argue that both human souls and angels are hylomorphic, a position I dub “pneumatic hylomorphism” (PH). Following a sketch of the history of PH, I offer both an analytic and a confessional defense of PH. The former argues that PH is the most cogent anthropology/angelology, given the Christian understanding of the intermediate state and angels. My confessional defense shows that PH plays a crucial role in pro-Nicene theology. I close with an assessment of contemporary anthropological alternatives, and conclude these do not advance the discussion beyond the patristic and medieval alternatives; thus PH remains the most cogent and confessional sound option.

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