The main essays in the January 2013 issue of Interpretation: A Journal of Bible and Theology, are devoted to the theme of ‘Embodiment: Reclaiming the Body for Faith’.
Silvia Schroer and Thomas Staubli
Bodily and Embodied: Being Human in the Tradition of the Hebrew Bible
A depiction of the ancient Hebrew understanding of the human being must take into account the fact that the Bible does not contain a systematic anthropology, but unfolds the multiplicity of human existence inductively, aspectively, and in narrative fashion. In comparison to Greek body/soul dualism, but also in the context of body-(de-)construction and gender debates, this circumstance makes it a treasure trove of interesting, often contrasting recollections and insights with liberating potential. This assertion will be illustrated concretely in terms of the nexus points of the human body (throat, heart, and womb), the relationship of humans to animals and angels, and the questions of the power and value of a human being.
Yung Suk Kim
Reclaiming Christ’s Body (soma christou): Embodiment of God’s Gospel in Paul’s Letters
Traditionally, “the body of Christ” has been read through an organism metaphor that emphasizes unity of the community in Christ. The weakness of this reading is that there is no clear articulation of how members of the community are united with Christ. The body language in Paul’s letters can be best understood when read through a metaphor for a way of living that emphasizes Christ’s embodiment of God’s gospel. The body of Christ in Paul’s letters is, first of all, his physical body that represents his life and death. Then, derivatively, it is also associated with Christian living – for example, “You are Christ-like body” (1 Cor 12:27).
Do Humans Have Souls? Perspectives from Philosophy, Science, and Religion
This essay seeks to promote a concept of human nature that is usually called nonreductive physicalism, which is at least not ruled out by Scripture, and may in fact be closer to biblical thinking than dualism. The essay then looks to neuroscience to show that it provides useful insights into how and why we behave as we do.
Debra A. Reagan
Reclaiming the Body for Faith
This essay examines what it means to be embodied members of the Body of Christ, exploring the metaphor in 1 Corinthians 12:12–27 in terms of gender, race/ethnicity, variant embodiment, abused bodies, and sexual bodies