Master of Arts (MA)
Edward N. Martin
Primary Subject Area
Philosophy; Religion, Philosophy of
Aquinas, Eternity, Metaphysics, Resurrection, Time
In debates on the metaphysics of resurrection, it seems that philosophical theology is often arguing on the wrong fronts. While some philosophers and theologians spend their time arguing the feasibility of a person's bodily numerical identity at resurrection, whether or not a human being can exist apart from their body, or whether the resurrection is physical at all (among many other points of view) this thesis seeks to argue a more foundational issue: God's eternal/atemporal existence and how it affects the resurrection of mankind. If it can be shown that God's eternal/atemporal existence allows for a person to experience simultaneity in their death and future resurrection, then physical resurrection can be affirmed along with numerical identity between the "body sown" and "body raised," and further arguments concerning a possible disembodied existence can be declared irrelevant (among other ramifications).
Motivated by two vexing passages of Scripture, Matthew 22:29-33 and Luke 23:43, this thesis wishes to provide a philosophical hermeneutic to these passages while also affirming orthodox Christian theology in its belief of a physical resurrection at the eschaton and that being physically resurrected is far better than not being physically resurrected. I will do so by (1) using Thomas Aquinas' theory of eternity and other modes of existence to account for a specific kind of simultaneity, (2) defending the Thomistic account of eternity and his other modes of existence, and (3) explaining how it is the case that, given God's eternal mode of existence, a human being's (particularly a Christian human being) death and future resurrection occur simultaneously. Hence, the theory to be so argued is termed "Simultaneous Resurrection."