Saturday, December 18, 2010

Resurrection of what?

I have been reading a lot of secondary literature on resurrection lately, and I have noticed a confusing ambiguity in the language employed in these discussions: In the common phrase "resurrection of the X," X can refer either to the thing that undergoes the process of resurrection or to the thing that has undergone the process of resurrection (that is, either to the raw materials or to the end product).

Thus, for example, the phrase "resurrection of the flesh" can be taken to denote either a view affirming that dead corpses will exit their graves (even if they are transformed radically in the process) or the view that the end product of resurrection will have all the "fleshly" qualities associated with our current form of existence.

This ambiguity is frustrating, but I am not sure what to do about it. Any suggestions?

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