François DURAND - Announcing the resurrection. What can be taught to-day about the resurrection? What can be preached at funerals?
Telling about the resurrection is a real challenge for the Church to-day. Many of our contemporaries have chosen different answers to the after-death question, or do not know how to consider it. Some Christians also reject any hope in a resurrection for themselves, their relatives and friends, undoubtedly because the theological concepts have ceased to make sense for them. Keeping in sight that faith in the resurrection remains a stumbling block for many, trying to remove the difficulties coming up and taking the Easter-Christ as a cornerstone, this article of pastoral theology proposes to identify some inescapable elements to give the reasons for a belief in the resurrection. It especially does so in the particular framework of the funeral liturgy. Taking seriously the break caused by death appears as a prerequisite necessary to any announcement respectful of people and of the mystery. It is then possible, calling for the leap of faith, to establish a link between the situation of the deceased person and the death-resurrection of Christ. Then there remains to find adequate symbolic representations able to hold together both the realities of continuity and of broken relationship inherent to the mystery of resurrection.
Michel Demaison - Soul and body About Thomas Aquinas' anthropology
The gradual disappearance of the faith in the resurrection of the flesh among Christians is to be connected to the general context of the occultation of the relations between the body and the other form of the body that used formerly to be called the soul. About this theme we offer the essential structures of S.Thomas Aquinas' anthropology as an example of a rigorous philosophical argumentation, of Aristotelian making, which gives its structure to a philosophical reflection. Such articulation should be able to support the present day debates with the sciences and techniques of life and with the evolution of mores: through the bodies of human beings, it is always persons that are affected in their souls, and, as a consequence, in their dignity. The task of Christian theologies is, more than ever, to make sure that anthropological approaches remain open to the anthropological dimension which characterizes every human being, body and soul.
Camille Focant - Jean Delorme's contribution to the studies of the gospel according to Mark
Jean Delorme's major contribution to the studies on Mark is complex, manifold and difficult to sum up. The article centres on a theme that is essential in his researches: Mark's understanding of gospel writing and of communication. It is here treated along three approaches: Mark's work conceived as a narrative which is a gospel, a conception lit up by the beginning of the gospel (Mk 1,1-3); his understanding of communication through parables (Mk 4,10-12); his perception of the mysterious metaphoric harmony between Jesus' death, a wasted perfume and the gospel (Mk 14,3-9).These three instances set off the luminous opening made by Jean Delorme to read in depth the most paradoxical, and the most astonishing of the four canonical gospels.
Bernard MEUNIER - Has Christianity a soul?
This article wonders about the language of the soul, which has been traditional in Christian theology since the time of the Church Fathers. The latter seem indeed to have rather soon adopted the Greek notion of the immortality of the soul, considered as an integral part of faith. The questioning of the notion of soul in anthropology and its immortality in exegesis compels us to do a critical rereading of this generally accepted opinion. Reading through patristic texts, essentially of the second and third centuries, shows that through the language of the soul, the Fathers did not necessarily have in mind The Platonic meaning that one is quick to suspect, and in particular that this language does not imply dualism in their thinking. Christian authors are willingly free towards philosophical doctrines (they don't look for obedience to such or such school, but they make their own what they find good where, and as, they like), their real criterion being faithfulness to the Scriptures. The use, mostly from the fourth century onward, of the comparison between Christ, man and God, and the human compound, body and soul, shows to what degree that compound is felt as indissociable, since these authors resort to the model He represents to assert more strongly the absolute and final commitment of God in the flesh without for all that implying a pre-existence of the soul that the comparison might have suggested.
Christian Trottmann - Beatific vision and resurrection of the flesh: a few historical and doctrinal remarks
If eternal bliss consists in seeing God, the higher faculties of the soul should be sufficient to reach it. Under such conditions, what need is there for the resurrection of the flesh? Does not this doctrine however constitute an element of major importance in the difference between Christian hope and the philosophers'? What interpretation can then be given to Benedict XII's doctrinal statement in 1336 according to which the soul of the blessed ones which have been sufficiently purified see God directly, already now, without waiting for the resurrection and Judgement Day. We here propose elements of reflection setting beatific vision and resurrection of the flesh at the heart of the philosophical research carried out by the Christian authors of the late Antiquity and of the Middle Ages. We shall start with Augustine and his consciousness that the resurrection of the flesh distinguishes Christian hope from the philosophers'. In a second part we shall recall the stakes of the Avignon quarrel about beatific vision. Finally, from two examples appearing just after the doctrinal proclamation Benedictus Deus, we shall show the consequences it brings about concerning the anthropological reflection as regards the vision of God