Soul and Body in Medieval Western World – Jérôme Baschet
The author tries to show that the conception of the human person in the West in medieval times is more complex than its apparent simple duality would have us believe. In addition to the various aspects that can be added to the duality soul/body, close attention should be given to the type of relationship established between the soul and the body. One thus realizes that for medieval christianity this duality offered a means to differentiate itself radically from dualism, and to establish the articulation and necessary union between soul and body. This aspect was constantly strengthened along the centuries leading to the middle medieval period, and brought a strong emphasis on the positive dimension of the union of body and soul, which alone really constitutes the human person, and which should be recreated at the end of times through bodily resurrection. Finally, the author argues that the glorious body of the elect, and more generally, the articulation of the corporal and spiritual dimensions presented in the theological discourse, represent an ideal model of Christian society. The whole logic of medieval Christendom, entirely structured by the Church, depended on its ability to articulate positively the spiritual and corporal dimensions, i.e. to spiritualize the body. Whatever their ambiguities and the possible counter-arguments, the image of the person and the psychosomatic unity elaborated by scholasticism appear as a powerful tool that gives a foundation to the social and ecclesiastical body, to its hierarchy as well as its communitarian utopianism.
Miche de Montaigne :”I’d rather forge my soul than decorate it”