Wednesday, 2 January 2013


There is always going to be talk about conspicuous examples of events that we can only characterise as evil. The account of how they happened on a naturalistic causal basis often then turns to the question why a good God allowed them to happen. This concept of God which is taken to be the dominant one in the West is thereby found wanting. Such a God is absurd, ergo there is no God or if he’s not dead he’s as good as dead.

The Gnostics considered that all matter is aimed at death and has at its ontological core a lack. Augustine in a different sense took lack as the source of evil. Whereas the Gnostics took matter as such to be evil, in Christian theology matter itself is transcended. My father related to me once that when they repaired to the pub which was also the undertakers after a funeral on the counter he saw the receipt for the coffin: to one ‘victory’ £6/6/0‘. “O death where is thy sting,o grave where is thy victory, ”.

However the soul’s connection to the body as the form of the body is maintained in the post mortem state. The body then will be a ‘soma pneumatikos’ , a spiritual body. If you’re going to have a personal immortality then the body in some manner must come into it. Matter itself is transformed in the Christian account and in this final reckoning the lack in matter that is fundamental to the occurrence of evil is rectified.

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