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The Implications of Amnesia for Christian Anthropology

A famous Amnesiac died recently and was reported in the New York Times.  The article presses me to ask several questions all over again in my mind. 

Supposedly, when we die, according to the Christian worldview, our souls remain in tact, which means our memory and personality, etc. remain in tact.  However … if our soul’s are immaterial and retain memory, why is it that when our brain, a material part of the human body, malfunctions or is removed, we have the ability to loose our memory.  In other words, it would seem that if the human soul always remains in tact, human memory would always remain in tact–even if our material bodies completely decay or malfunction.  Yet … Amnesia (exhibit A).  

Could the Biblical language about the human soul refer to the totality of conscious experience mediated by the brain, which will be replaced in the resurrection?  Some Christian theologians are beginning to postulate a new paradigm for the human soul that teaches something like that.  

As Christians, we must reckon with reality.  Our brains apparently have exclusive power of human memory, thus of human consciousness.  This makes it hard to understand how we can expect a non-material soul to retain such consciousness between death and resurrection if it’s not retaining it now apart from the brain.  Has God made it necessary for our personhood to be mediated through a physical brain?   

Anybody have any thoughts?

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