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A Problem for Christian Materialism

Elliot Jon Knuths

Abstract

This piece raises a new challenge for Christian materialist accounts of human persons. Revisiting one of the perennial challenges for Christian materialism, explaining the metaphysical compatibility of resurrection and the life everlasting with materialist metaphysics, I argue that resuscitation phenomena reported in scripture undermine van Inwagen’s and Zimmerman’s attempts to reconcile resurrection and materialism. Although this challenge to Christian materialism is not insurmountable, it provides good reason to reject several of the most serious Christian materialist projects and offers a reason for Christians to consider alternatives to materialism.

Keywords

Resurrection; Personal Identity; van Inwagen; Zimmerman; Simulacrum

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References

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(1984): 253-271.

Taliaferro, Charles and Elliot Knuths. "Thought Experiments in Philosophy of Religion: The Virtues of Phenomenological Realism and Values", Open Theology 3, no. 1 (2017): 167-173. https://doi.org/10.1515/opth-2017-0013.

Van Inwagen, Peter. "Dualism and materialism: Athens and Jerusalem?", Faith and Philosophy 12, no. 4 (1995): 475-488.

Van Inwagen, Peter. "I Look for the Resurrection of the Dead and the Life of the World to Come." Unpublished. Available http://andrewmbailey.com/pvi/Resurrection.doc. Accessed January 28, 2018.

Van Inwagen, Peter. "The possibility of resurrection", International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 9, no. 2 (1978): 114-121.

Zimmerman, Dean W. "The compatibility of materialism and survival: The "falling elevator" model", Faith and Philosophy 16, no. 2 (1999): 194-212.

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