Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy

Volume 45, 2008

Philosophy of Religion

Joungbin Lim
Pages 185-197

Dualism, Physicalism, and the Passion of the Christ

My project in this paper is to provide a plausible idea of Christ’s suffering and death in terms of two theories of the human person. One is dualism. Dualism is the view that a human person is composed of two substances, that is, a soul and a body, and he (strictly speaking) is identical with the soul. On the other hand, physicalism is the view that a human person is numerically identical with his body. I will argue that dualism is not successful in explaining Christ’s passion for some reasons. Rather, physicalism, as I shall argue, provides a better explanation of how Christ’s physical suffering and death are real just like everyone else’s, so it is philosophically and theologically more plausible than dualism.