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Body & Soul: Human Nature & the Crisis in Ethics Paperback – March 24, 2000


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: IVP Academic (March 24, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0830815775
  • ISBN-13: 978-0830815777
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #203,842 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

J. P. Moreland (PhD, University of Southern California; ThM, Dallas Theological Seminary) is Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at Talbot School of Theology, Biola University, in La Mirada, California. He also serves as director of Eidos Christian Center. He has written, edited or contributed to over twenty books including Christianity and the Nature of Science, Does God Exist? (with Kai Nielsen) and Philosophical Naturalism: A Critical Analysis. He has also published more than fifty articles in journals such as Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, American Philosophical Quarterly, Australasian Journal of Philosophy, Metaphilosophy, Pacific Philosophical Quarterly, Southern Journal of Philosophy, Religious Studies and Faith and Philosophy. He is a fellow of the Discovery Institute's Center for Science and Culture.

Scott B. Rae (Ph.D., University of Southern California) is professor of biblical studies and Christian ethics at Talbot School of Theology, Biola University, in La Mirada, California. He is also the author of Embryo Research and Experimentation (Crossroads) and Brave New Families: Biblical Ethics and Reproductive Technologies (Baker).

More About the Author

With degrees in philosophy, theology, and chemistry, I have taught theology and philosophy at several schools throughout the U.S. I have authored or co-authored several dozen books including Kingdom Triangle, Philosophical Foundations for a Christian Worldview; Christianity and the Nature of Science; Scaling the Secular City; Does God Exist?; Immortality: The Other Side of Death; and The Life and Death Debate: Moral Issues of Our Times. I am a co-editor of Christian Perspectives on Being Human and Jesus Under Fire: Modern Scholarship Reinvents the Historical Jesus. My academic work appears in journals and periodicals such as Christianity Today, Philosophia Christi, Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, and The American Philosophical Quarterly. I served with Campus Crusade for 10 years, planted two churches, and I have spoken on over 200 college campuses. Presently, my wife and I attend the Anaheim Vineyard Christian Fellowship.

Customer Reviews

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The picture is one of Thomistic substance dualism.
Randy A. Stadt
The book is crucially important for anyone thinking through the bioethics of these issues.
Alan Keyes is awesome!
This is one of the more difficult books that I have read recently.
Bruce H

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Alan Keyes is awesome! on December 29, 2000
Format: Paperback
I am a few pages shy of finishing BODY AND SOUL. Part one argues for Thomistic Substance Dualism (differentiated from Cartesian Substance Dulaism), and it's written by J.P. Moreland.
Part two takes the arguments for substance dualism and demonstrates the logical implications substance dualism has regarding abortion, euthanasia, human cloning, etc.
The book is crucially important for anyone thinking through the bioethics of these issues.
As important and fascinating as the book is, there are some weakneses. The first thing that will strike the reader is that part one (Moreland) is far more difficult reading than part two (Rae).
Basically, part one assumes a more advanced philosophical background of the reader. This is not to say that a reasonably intelligent person with little background in philosophy cannot benefit, but it will take some work, re-reading certain paragraphs a few times, etc.
I think it would be a worthwhile assignment for Mr. Moreland to rewrite part one to get the hay down out of the loft, so us cows can get to it:-) Part one would also flow better into part two as a result.
It's interesting to note that Moreland, in a lecture I attended, did lay out the basic themes of the book in more user friendly language. I think his position is well articulated in the book, book it would be of greater benefit to many more if he would put out a version more like his lecture.
By the way, here is a VERY important piece of advice: The average reader will follow Moreland's reasoning MUCH better if you get a hold of his lectures on the same subject, or at least get a copy of a taped radio program in which he discussed the book (The web site for STAND TO REASON).
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Bruce H on October 2, 2001
Format: Paperback
This is one of the more difficult books that I have read recently. Sections of the book can be difficult and require focus; this is NOT beach reading.
The authors' intended audience:
"We have chosen to write the book at what we consider to be a fairly high academic level because we are convinced the view of a human person we affirm must be articulated and defended at that level for it to gain a hearing both within the Christian community and in the secular academic setting. Still, we hope a nonspecialist will be able to gain much from the pages that follow." (page 14)
There are one or two sections in the book that defend the existence of an immaterial soul from the Bible (against those Christian thinkers who deny it) however; this book is not primarily an explanation/analysis of Scripture. As the authors themselves state, 'In this work we have attempted to make a case for the view of a human person that is both consistent with biblical teaching and that makes philosophical sense.' (page 343)
To skeptics of the existence of the soul, to those who would argue that science has rendered the concept false, to those who argue that the concept of the immaterial soul is a foreign Greek concept that has nothing to do with the Bible, read this book. Moreland and Rae present a very strong case for the soul (their particular version of this: Thomistic substance dualism), they refute or significantly weaken most of the commonly offered critiques of their view and refute or critique the views that compete against theirs.
There are 521 footnotes spread over 345 pages of text; averaging roughly 50 footnotes per chapter. I really liked this aspect of the book; the authors would frequently refer to other relevant literature and refer the reader to investigate it if interested.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Len Winters on September 30, 2004
Format: Paperback
Throughout Human History most people have believed that we are both physical and spiritual beings, that in fact the immaterial part of us can live on even when separated from our bodies by death. The rise of science, however, has called into question the existence of the soul. Concurrent with the demise of dualism has been the rise of advanced medical technologies that have brought to the fore difficult issues at both edges of life.

In this careful and thoughtful treatment J. P. Moreland and Scott B. Rae argue that the rise of these problems alongside the demise of Christian dualism is no coincidence. They therefore employ a theological realism to meet these pressing issues and to present a reasonable and biblically accurate depiction of human nature.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Kevin K. Winters on June 13, 2002
Format: Paperback
I first came in contact with this work as I was preparing a response/critique to James P. Moreland's chapter in _The New Mormon Challenge_ (titled "The Absurdities of Mormon Materialism"). It was suggested to me by one of Moreland's friends and associates, Carl Mosser, as a good introduction to Thomistic dualism (as opposed to the better-known Cartesian dualism). I am now thankful for Carl's suggestion and this work.
The Thomistic view of the soul is, in my mind, more advanced and more cogent than the Cartesian view of the soul. It differentiates between spirit/soul and mind, presenting the latter as a faculty of the soul and not it's very essence. It provides a better explanation of the mind-body (or soul-body) problem by asserting that the soul is the teleological foundation of the formation of the body (i.e., the soul directs the growth and development of the body). Further, this view emphasizes the need for a working brain that can also affect the spirit/mind for cognitive occurrences (this point is argued more vigorously in works outside of _Body and Soul_ by other authors, though Moreland hints at it in this work).
The only disappointment for me was Moreland's insistence on critiquing the reductionistic class of materialism. For me, personally, the reductionists have too many theoretical problems to be a viable solution. I would have enjoyed a further critique of the emergent view of mind that is quickly becoming more prominent in scientific circles (Robert Nadeau, one of the reductionists that Moreland cites, has altered his conceptions towards this view; see _The Non-Local Universe: The New Physics and Matters of the Mind_).
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