Chapter 7 Christian Ensoulment Theories within Dualist Psychological Discourse

In: The Unity of Body and Soul in Patristic and Byzantine Thought
Author: Anna Usacheva

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Abstract

This study of the philosophical and patristic texts of the second–fifth centuries, explores Christian theories of reproduction in the context of Hellenic dualist discourse and embryology. I argue that due to the specific metaphysical principles of Christian doctrine, the church fathers were bound to balance the dualist lexicon, which they often used, with holistic anthropological and Christological statements. Patristic theories of reproduction represent a vivid example of the balanced Christian holistic thought, which imbibed plenty of Hellenic concepts, yet remained true to the fundamental principles of Christian doctrine.