Evangelical Philosophical SocietyArticle Reprint

On Bodily Immortality in the Eastern Church Fathers

by Nathan A. Jacobs

This essay examines what the Eastern Church fathers have to say about bodily immortality by discussing (1) Adamic immortality and the Fall and (2) Eastern patristic understanding of resurrection as immortality.

The soul is that part of human nature that bears God’s image, and this image is what makes it possible for man to partake of the divine nature and become immortal. Had Adam’s higher nature (his soul) done so, this would have raised up his lower nature (his body) to also partake of immortality. But the Fall buries and distorts the image of God, crippling the soul’s capacity to participate in divine life and attain immortality. 

This bodily immortality is the true hope of immortality, according to the Eastern fathers. And it is this immortality, not the indissolubility of the soul, which humanity has been created to attain, and which the work of Christ restored.

The full-text of this paper is available for free by clicking here. The paper is part of an ongoing EPS web project focused on a Philosophy of Theological Anthropology

©2021 Evangelical Philosophical Society. All rights Reserved.  

This article is made public for personal, non-commercial use only.  You must obtain prior written permission for any other use.  The Evangelical Philosophical Society  (EPS) is an organization of professional scholars devoted to pursuing philosophical excellence in both the church and the academy. Interested laypersons can join as full, associate, or student members.  The EPS journal, Philosophia Christi, is a scholarly publication containing discussion of a variety of topics that are of interest to the philosopher and to the philosopher of religion.

For membership information, please visit www.epsociety.org or you may contact us by phone or e-mail.