Sunday, October 22, 2006

Moltmann on dualism

In the world of late antiquity, Christianity encountered the Platonic dualism of soul and body in the form of the Gnostic contempt for the body, and its other-worldly longing for redemption. The soul, condemned to life-long incarceration in the body, yearns to be freed from this prison. It does not long for the prison to be changed into a home in which it likes to live. In this gnostic form, the Christian hope no longer gazes forward to a future when everything will be created anew. It looks upwards, to the soul’s escape from the body and from this earth, to the haven of blessed spirits.’

- Jürgen Moltmann, The Spirit of Life, 90.

Ten points for naming the city whose medieval wall I was standing on to take this pic. I'm still updating the leaderboard and links for these points.

10 comments:

Michael Westmoreland-White said...

As usual, Moltmann has phrased things brilliantly. This clearly shows why so much popular Christianity is gnostic.

One of Freedom said...

It also shows why popular Christianity is just so much escapist crap and misses completely the point of the Incarnation. Brilliant!

Then again I would expect no less from my homeboy!

byron said...

I am finding Augustine's relationship to this whole thrust of mis-thought fascinating. Much more complex than I had realised. He is both guilty and not guilty.

byron said...

Matt Moffitt sent me this great sermon by N.T. Wright on Beauty and Apocalyptic. Worth a read.

psychodougie said...

some time ago on your blog, ray's quote, of Bonhoeffer's comments, regarding embracing this world were quite illuminating.
working thru 1Peter at the moment, trying to reconcile the status of exiles, with the hope of the resurrection, these comments were quite helpful.

i also find it interesting, that many i know with gnostic-leanings, also disbelieve in the resurrection! they believe we can have heaven here and now - "it's a state of mind", yet gnosticism longs for freedom from this body.
go figure.

byron said...

Doug - denial of the resurrection and an overrealised eschatology that believes we can have it all here and now are both classic signs of gnosticism. To think that now is the best things are going to be requires that we ignore the fact that our bodies (and our body politic) are painfully not perfect. As for being exiles, I've been intended to post on that at some stage but have not got round to it. My basic thought is that I wonder whether Christians aren't aliens here in the sense that Abraham is repeatedly called an alien in Genesis - that is, he is an alien in his own land, separated from his hope not by space, but by time. Christians are the ones, who, according to Jesus, hope to inherit the earth.

Jason Hesiak said...

La Rochelle, France?

byron said...

Good try Jason, but no cigar. Try more English...

Michael Canaris said...

Chester? York?

byron said...

York it is. Ten points.