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Jesus Christ, Eternal GodHeavenly Flesh and the Metaphysics of Matter$
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Stephen H. Webb

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199827954

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199827954.001.0001

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Thinking with Matter

Thinking with Matter

Chapter:
(p.7) { 1 } Thinking with Matter
Source:
Jesus Christ, Eternal God
Author(s):

Stephen H. Webb

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199827954.003.0002

Advances in the study of physics have re-opened the question of the nature of matter. The nature of spirit (or immaterial substance) is typically defined in terms of its relationship to matter. If matter is not what we used to think it is, then spirit is not what we think it is either. Spirit, it follows, needs to be rethought. The author's position is compared to Berkeley's immaterialism, John Cobb's emergent materialism, and Grace Jantzen's hypothesis of the world as God's body. This chapter then discusses how doctrines can be revised, drawing on George Lindbeck's notion of conditional and reversible doctrines. It concludes with a discussion of how perfect being metaphysics can lead to a new understanding of matter as one of God's perfections. Perfect being metaphysics is not the author's final word on metaphysical materialism, but merely points in the direction of a full, Christological account.

Keywords:   matter, spirit, John Cobb, Grace Jantzen, Berkeley, materialism, metaphysics, doctrine, George Lindbeck

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