The Body in Jesus’ Tomb as a Hylemorphic Puzzle: a Response to Jaeger and Sienkiewicz and an Application for Christological Anthropology

Perichoresis 19 (2):83-97 (2021)
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In a recent paper, Andrew Jaeger and Jeremy Sienkiewicz attempt to provide an answer consistent with Thomistic hylemorphism for the following question: what was the ontological status of Christ’s dead body? Answering this question has christological anthropological import: whatever one says about Christ’s dead body, has implications for what one can say about any human’s dead body. Jaeger and Sienkiewicz answer the question this way: that Jesus’ corpse was prime matter lacking a substantial form; that it was existing form-less matter. I argue that their argument for this answer is unsound. I say, given Thomistic hylemorphism, there was no human body in Jesus’s tomb between his death and resurrection. Once I show their argument to be unsound, I provide a christological anthropological upshot: since there was no human body in Christ’s tomb, there are no human bodies in any tomb.



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James T. Turner Jr.
Anderson University

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