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Divine Bodies: Resurrecting Perfection in the New Testament and Early Christianity

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A path-breaking scholar’s insightful reexamination of the resurrection of the body and the construction of the self.

When people talk about the resurrection they often assume that the bodies in the afterlife will be perfect. But which version of our bodies gets resurrected—young or old, healthy or sick, real-to-life or idealized? What bodily qualities must be recast in heaven for a body to qualify as both ours and heavenly?

The resurrection is one of the foundational statements of Christian theology, but when it comes to the New Testament only a handful of passages helps us answer the question “What will those bodies be like?” More problematically, the selection and interpretation of these texts are grounded in assumptions about the kinds of earthly bodies that are most desirable. Drawing upon previously unexplored evidence in ancient medicine, philosophy, and culture, this illuminating book both revisits central texts—such as the resurrection of Jesus—and mines virtually ignored passages in the Gospels to show how the resurrection of the body addresses larger questions about identity and the self.

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  • Concerns with the intersection of identity and the body
  • Seeks to disentangle Pauline-fed hermeneutical assumptions about what a resurrected body must be like by reading other descriptions of the resurrection of the body in the New Testament
  • Presents a section which addresses the issue of the resurrected body in the twenty-first century; the commitments, fears and assumptions
  • Introduction: The Missin Piece
  • Identity
  • Integrity
  • Functionality
  • Aesthetics
  • Conclusion: Imagining Beauty and Remembering Ourselves
Why does Christianity see bodily resurrection as salvation? How do ideas about embodied eternity encode time-bound cultural values concerning health, wealth, beauty, sex, and self? Candida Moss’s lithe essay investigates all these questions with lively erudition, with humor and with insight. Divine Bodies is divine reading.

—Paula Fredriksen, author of When Christians Were Jews

With enormous learning and gentle sensitivity Candida Moss explores the intricate pathways of the Christian imagination. In the process she skillfully and insightfully reveals the complex ironies of a hoped for future life and the ways it often mirrors an unexamined present.

—Harold W. Attridge, Yale Divinity School

Are our bodies ourselves? Candida Moss shows how culturally constructed notions of human perfection and beauty have shaped New Testament passages about the resurrected body—and modern biblical scholarship as well. A thought-provoking work of intellectual and cultural history.

—David Brakke, The Ohio State University

  • Title: Divine Bodies: Resurrecting Perfection in the New Testament and Early Christianity
  • Author: Candida R. Moss
  • Publisher: Yale University Press
  • Print Publication Date: 2019
  • Pages: 208
  • Language: English
  • Resources: 1
  • Format: Digital › Logos Reader Edition
  • Resource Type: Monograph
  • Metadata Last Updated: 2021-01-26T20:31:41Z

In the Logos Reader Edition, this volume is enhanced to best fit the content. Scripture references are hand-tagged to integrate with powerful functionality in Logos Bible Software. Page milestones and internal citation tagging provide accurate points of reference. Search important words across resources to find exactly what you’re looking for. Take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive tools for reading digital content are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.

Candida R. Moss (born 26 November 1978) is an English academic who is the Edward Cadbury Professor of Theology in the Department of Theology and Religion at the University of Birmingham. A graduate of Oxford and Yale universities, Moss specializes in the study of the New Testament and martyrdom in early Christianity.


Digital list price: $29.99
Save $10.00 (33%)

Gathering interest