My dissertation is online, but it’s not “appropriate”

Many thanks to Nick Norelli for pointing out that my dissertation is  available online through the University of St. Andrews research database. You’d think I would have known that already, but I didn’t realize the database was open to the public. So, if you’re looking for something to fill your spare moments, feel free to check it out.

I am dealing with some emotional turmoil, however. I tried to access my dissertation a few minutes ago, but I was blocked by the seminary’s web filter because the material “is considered inappropriate”! I’m not sure what to make of that. It’s one thing to have a reviewer or professor tell you that your dissertation isn’t any good. But, when some mindless software starts taking potshots at your research, that’s pretty annoying. I bet it hasn’t even read my dissertation. Stupid software.

I did give my dissertation a pretty snappy title, though, so more people would want to read it:

Embodied Souls, Ensouled Bodies:  An Exercise in Christological Anthropology and Its Significance for the Mind-Body Debate with Special Reference to Karl Barth’s ‘Church Dogmatics’ III.2

Seriously, who could possibly stay away from a book like that? In my family, we gather around the fire and read our favorite parts to each other while eating ice cream. You should try it.


About Marc Cortez

Theology Prof and Dean at Western Seminary, husband, father, & blogger, who loves theology, church history, ministry, pop culture, books, and life in general.

Posted on January 5, 2011, in Anthropology, Misc and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.

  1. Cool! You mean we don’t have to pay $103.56 for it now? That’s always a plus 🙂 ! Look forward to checking it out.

  2. hahaha – Torrance! Impressive and no wonder you are a Barthian! 😉

  3. Marc, I may be jumping the gun here; as I’m only on page 21 and you may answer it later on.

    Does Barth’s anthropological centering of creation have a bearing on understanding Genesis in the current literal / evolutionary debate about creation?

  4. That was an interesting read Marc. One that I will have to read again to fully digest. It leads me to ask some more questions; something I hope you don’t mind?

    If we are to understand anthropology through Christ and starting with Christ, how does that understanding influence our understanding of being made in the image of God… particularly in regards to our physical bodies. Most contemporary theologians regards the image as being on relational grounds…

    Yet if indeed Christ existed as himself before time…then our physical bodies have to be taken into account as part of that image.

    In regards to Barth’s thinking that Christ’s humanity was different to ours; is it different in that he was made like Adam (2nd Adam) and never sinned and therefore was not corrupted by sin?

    My next question relates to Christ’s sinlessness. Was Christ sinless on and of his own account; or because he was fully human also, was he sinless through the empowering of the Holy Spirit? This then leads to asking the question of the Trinity whether they rely on each other to be holy; or are holy in their own right.

    As to any thoughts of for or against dualism between the body and soul…how do we reconcile any thoughts towards this within the Biblical records of the medium calling up Samuel on the behest of Saul.

  5. Have you ever read Mario Beauregard’s The Spiritual Brain? He looks at the mind/brain issue as a neurosurgeon. Its an interesting read.

  6. Craig, if you’re saying that you sat down and read through the dissertation on one go, I’m going to have to question your sanity.

    Barth’s anthropological centering of creation would definitely impact how one views the creation narratives. The point of those narratives, then, would not be to tell us abut creation en se, but to use the story of creation to tell us about humanity’s role in creation and our relationship with God.

    A christocentric anthropology requires (or flows from) a christocentric understanding of the imago Dei. And, I definitely think that our physicality is part of the image. We image God as whole persons, not just part-persons.

    Barth would not say that his “humanity” was different than ours (he and we are both fully human), but he would say that his sinlessness is methodologically significant in that it prevents any facile move from Christology to anthropology.

    I don’t recall whether Barth directly addressed the question of whether Jesus was sinless through the power of the Spirit, but I think that would be an adequate way of summarizing his view of the incarnation. But, with respect to the trinitarian persons himself, Barth would not like the idea of the three relying on each other to be holy. That suggests too much difference and distinction among them, whereas Barth tended to emphasize their unity (hence his preference for “modes” instead of “persons”).

    To be honest, I don’t think anyone has the vaguest idea what’s going on with the Witch of Endor story. There’s too much about that story that is very odd within the broader biblical understanding of the dead and they relate to the living. (I have to plead some ignorance here, though, since I haven’t studied it extensively.) So, I’m hesitant to use that passage too aggressively in this discussion one way or the other.

    Thanks for the good questions!

  7. Thanks for your replies Marc.

    Regarding my sanity 😉 I read it in a couple of sittings through out the day. My mind did get a bit foggy going through the various views of dualism…

    In saying this, I have a practice to quickly skim read through all my readings in one go, making notes as I read along; which I will then go back to at another time for deeper reflection.

    In regards to ours / Gods physicality, could it be said then that because humanity is made in the image of God, that the divine nature of Christ means he has always been fully human and fully God.

    Therefore in the incarnation, though he was still fully God and fully human; because he laid down his divine powers to live as a human; he experienced the fullness of his humanity through experiencing the fullness of the limitations of humanity and in this sense was both fully human and fully God.

  1. Pingback: Week in Review: 01.08.2011 « Near Emmaus

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