Re: [asa] Corcoran article on the soul (a Christian materialist perspective)

From: Murray Hogg <>
Date: Thu Sep 24 2009 - 18:28:45 EDT

Hi Schwarzwald,

As sort of an aside - I'm always tremendously bemused by contemporary thinkers who argue that we ought to accept such-and-such revision of Christian doctrine on the basis that it will invoke greater impetus to social concern. One suspects less emphasis on theology and more on church history is in order...

As for the rest, I'd cut Corcoran a little slack if only for the reason that Christianity Today isn't really the place to make the sort of nuanced arguments that Corcoran's position requires. Presumably he could give a more developed articulation of his position given space to do so in an appropriate forum.

Anyhoo, my basic point was simply to show that there are different ways of articulating the mind/body issue and its theological implications and that an assumption of monism/materialism needn't lead us to reject the central tenets of the faith.

As respects the post-mortem continuity of the soul - I think there are some really interesting issues lurking which I don't have time to enter into now. I will, however, have to get around to articulating them when I get the time.


Schwarzwald wrote:
> Heya Murray,
> At a glance, I have to admit I'm not impressed with Corcoran's article.
> He seems to treat emergent dualism, thomism, and cartesian dualism (not
> a complete list by a longshot) as all basically saying the same thing on
> the grounds that they all make reference to a soul. To say that's an
> oversimplification would be an understatement - it's flat out false. He
> then spends the rest of the article responding entirely to a crude
> Cartesian conception using some pretty weak reasoning, ultimately shored
> up by an appeal that we'll all take social work and charity more
> seriously if we take on his view of persons. (Christians didn't take
> such things seriously before?)
> That said, I agree that emphasis on bodily resurrection is tremendously
> important.
> On Wed, Sep 23, 2009 at 6:20 PM, Murray Hogg <
> <>> wrote:
> The following article by Calvin College professor, Kevin Corcoran,
> has been kicking around my archives for a while - I just stumbled
> across it by accident when looking for something else.
> It brings an interesting perspective to bear on the issues discussed
> in the mind/soul/body thread;
> Blessings,
> Murray
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Received on Thu Sep 24 18:29:34 2009

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