The Unity of Body and Soul

in Patristic and Byzantine Thought

Anna Usacheva, Jörg Ulrich & Siam Bhayro, Leiden: Brill, 2020


This volume explores the long-standing tensions between such notions as soul and body, spirit and flesh, in the context of human immortality and bodily resurrection. The discussion revolves around late antique views on the resurrected human body and the relevant philosophical, medical and theological notions that formed the background for this topic. Soon after the issue of the divine-human body had been problematised by Christianity, it began to drift away from vast metaphysical deliberations into a sphere of more specialized bodily concepts, developed in ancient medicine and other natural sciences. To capture the main trends of this interdisciplinary dialogue, the contributions in this volume range from the 2nd to the 8th centuries CE, and discuss an array of figures and topics, including Justin, Origen, Bardaisan, and Gregory of Nyssa.

(Text from the publisher)

Table of contents

Chapter 1 The Peculiar Merit of the Human Body: Combined Exegesis of Gen 1:26f. and Gen 2:7 in Second Century Christianity  p. 1–19

Author: Jörg Ulrich

Chapter 2 Rational Creatures and Matter in Eschatology According to Origen’s On First Principles  p.  20–37

Author: Samuel Fernández

Chapter 3 Origen on the Unity of Soul and Body in the Earthly Life and Afterwards and His Impact on Gregory of Nyssa  p. 38–77

Author: Ilaria L.E. Ramelli

Chapter 4 Gregory of Nyssa’s Trinitarian Anthropology: A Narrative  p. 78–108

Author: Ilaria Vigorelli

Chapter 5 The Body in the Ascetic Thought of Evagrius Ponticus  p. 109–121

Author: Kuo-Yu Tsui

Chapter 6 Resurrection, Emotion, and Embodiment in Egyptian Monastic Literature

Author: Andrew Crislip p. 122–143

Chapter 7 Christian Ensoulment Theories within Dualist Psychological Discourse  p. 144–169

Author: Anna Usacheva

Chapter 8 From Garments of Flesh to Garments of Light: Hardness, Subtleness and the Soul-Body Relation in Macarius-Symeon  p. 170–191

Author: Samuel Kaldas

Chapter 9 Patristic Views on Why There Is No Repentance after Death  p.  192–212

Author: David Bradshaw

Chapter 10 Treating the Body and the Soul in Late-Antique and Early-Medieval Syriac Sources: The Syro-Mesopotamian Context of Bardaiṣan and Sergius p. 213–228

Author: Siam Bhayro

Chapter 11 Christ the Healer of Human Passibility: The Passions, Apatheia, and Christology in Maximus the Confessor’s Quaestiones ad Thalassium  p. 229–244

Author: Andrew J. Summerson

Chapter 12 Maximus the Confessor’s View on Soul and Body in the Context of Five Divisions  p. 245–276

Author: Vladimir Cvetković



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