Disability and Resurrection Identity

New Blackfriars 96 (1066):723-738 (2015)
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Christian hope of resurrection requires that the one raised be the same person who died. Philosophers and theologians alike seek to understand the coherence of bodily resurrection and what accounts for numerical identity between the earthly and risen person. I address this question from the perspective of disability. Is a person with a disability raised in the age to come with that disability? Many theologians argue that disability is essential to one's identity such that it could not be eliminated in the resurrection. What anthropology undergirds these claims is not often explicated. I argue that Thomistic hylemorphic anthropology provides the best context to understand the human person such that disability is not essential to identity. In the resurrection, we shall become truly ourselves. The marks of disability may remain, but Thomistic anthropology expresses the coherence of bodily resurrection in which one may hope for healing which eliminates the disability but not numerical identity



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