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What are the implications of understanding human constitution?

  • personal identity

  • consciousnes

  • free will

  • the relationship of human persons to other animals

  • the beginning and end of human life

  • the dignity of the human person

  • the nature and process of salvation

  • the fundamental nature of what it means to be ‘human


What are various views of human constitution?

  1. Trichotomy
  2. Dichotomy
  3. Duality or Wholistic Dualism

  4. Psychosomatic Unity

  5. Monism


What is the Trichonomy view of human constitution?

  • Man is made up of three constituents or parts

    • Physical body.
    • ​Soul
      • "The seat of the affections, desires, emotions, and the will of man" (NSRB)
    • Spirit.

      • That which "knows and is capable of God-consciousness and communication with God" (NSRB)

  • Strongly dualistic: a contempt for the physical and this-worldly. As such trichotomism was condemned by the Council of Constantinople in 869-70.


What is the Dichotomy view of human constitution?

  • The human is made up of two constituents or parts

    • Soul or Spirit. That which is the true man or essence

    • Body. A temporary and accidental abode for the soul

  • The majority view in the history of Western culture
  • Assumed anthropological underpinning of western medicine


What is the Duality or Wholistic Dualism view of human constitution?

  • Human being is made up of two constituents, body and soul.

  • But the two are not in tension. Both body and soul are inherently good and essential to full human functioning. The two are fully integrated and interdependent.


What is substance dualism?

  • A dualistic metaphysic

    • Reality is made up of two sorts of things, physical things and mental things


What is the Psychosomatic Unity (Physicalism) view of human constitution?

  • The normal state of man is as a "materialized unitary being"

  • Biblical terminology is perspectival or aspectival not ontological or constitutional

  • Man's constitutional unity is altered at death


What is the Monism view of human constitution?

  • The human is an indivisible unitary being

  • A disembodied existence is impossible