Why A Search for the Soul?
Many Christians assume that it is biblically faithful and theologically noncontroversial to speak of humans having a soul. Yet a wide range of biblical scholars are questioning whether we have correctly understood what the Bible means when it speaks of the “soul.” And contemporary neuroscience is laying more and more questions at the doorstep of the church, asking whether our human sense of self is intelligible on the basis of soul. But for thoughtful Christians, following science on this point looks like caving in to reductionism, while denying science gives off the door of obscurantism.
In Search of the Soul provides a rare opportunity to listen in as four Christian philosophers set forth their best arguments for their distinct views and then respond to each other. While each of these views calls for careful framing and patient exposition, they are labeled as follows:
• Substance Dualism (Stewart Goetz)
• Emergent Dualism (William Hasker)
• Nonreductive Physicalism (Nancey Murphy)
• Constitution View of Persons (Kevin Corcoran)
The editor introduces the debate by laying out the critical issues at stake, and wraps it up by considering the implications for the Christian life, particularly hospitality and forgiveness.
This is a book of timely interest to philosophers, theologians, psychologists, and pastors. Whatever conclusions readers may draw, they will find here an instructive and engaging discussion of a controversy that will not go away any time soon. (Publisher’s description)