resurrection (rĕzˌərĕkˈshən) [key] [Lat., = rising again], arising again from death to life. The emergence of Jesus from the tomb to live on earth again for 40 days as told in the Gospels has been from the beginning the central fact of Christian experience and a cardinal feature of Christian doctrine (Mat. 28; Mark 16; Luke 24; John 20; Acts 4.2; Romans 6). It was the guarantee not only of Christ's mission and the seal of redemption but also of the resurrection of all men. The general resurrection or resurrection of the body has been understood in diverse ways, always in the light of St. Paul's teaching on the risen or glorified body. In the conventional theology the material body is identified with the glorified body (since the soul is the substantial form of each) and is in some way spiritualized so that it is made incorruptible and immortal. At the end of the world (see Judgment Day) the souls of all men will be reunited with their risen bodies. The Christian doctrine of resurrection of the body is thus fundamentally different from the resurrection beliefs of the ancient Egyptian religion and other ancient religions (see fertility rites). Belief in a resurrection of the body distinguished the Pharisees from the Sadducees. It is also a tenet of Muslim belief.

See C. W. Bynum, The Resurrection of the Body in Western Christianity, 200–1336 (1995).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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