Rethinking Human Nature
- Published: June 1, 2006
- Publisher: Baker Academic
- Page count: 160
- ISBN: 9780801027802
- eBook ISBN: 9781441206725
What are we as human persons? Are we immaterial souls capable of disembodied existence or merely animals destined to dust?
For centuries, scholars have debated this issue, and that debate continues today. But the question of human nature can no longer remain a topic for discussion within the hallowed halls of the academy. End of life ethical decisions, human cloning, fetal tissue transplants, and stem cell research all reveal the urgency and the importance of the question for ordinary people.Rethinking Human Nature offers a fascinating look at what it means to be human by defending the "constitutional view"which suggests we are constituted by our bodies without being identical to the bodies that constitute us. Grounded in Scripture, this book connects the theology and philosophy of human nature with the moral conundrums that confront us at the margins of life.
"[A] carefully argued and challenging book. . . . There is a refreshing tone to the book characterized by Corcoran's humility as a thinker who knows he might be completely wrong in what he is advancing but wanting more than anything else to engage us in a conversation. I warmed to his assertion that 'discussion is to Christian philosophy what lab work is to the practice of biology,' and pastors as well as academic theologians will find much of value in these pages. It is a bracing read and prospective purchasers will need to hold on to their brains. But for those prepared to stay with the text there is much by way of reward."
Rod Garner, Reviews in Religion and Theology
"[This] book is intended for students of theology and philosophy and for the interested layperson. If you are inquisitive about what it means to be a human being, this is the book for you."
Aaron Vriesman, Reformed Review
"A wonderful book--relevant, highly readable and thought provoking. . . . I will conclude with an enthusiastic endorsement of a first-rate book. Corcoran has admirably explained his position on human nature to his fellow Christian believers."
Stewart Goetz, Philosophia Christi
"Corcoran presents some compelling reasons why [the Constitution View] is just as competent as body-soul dualism in protecting the sanctity and quality of human life. He approaches bioethical issues through the refreshing framework of creation, incarnation, and resurrection. . . . Rethinking Human Nature is for a wide audience. . . . [Corcoran] uses a flowing prose style that relies on thought experiments and analogies. . . . This book has its strengths in being quite readable and in providing a faithful materialist anthropology for Christians. . . . Rethinking Human Nature advances the ongoing conversation among Christians about the nature of human persons in light of philosophy, ethics, and Christian beliefs. Anyone interested in this conversation will find Corcoran's book helpful."
Brandon Jones, Calvin Theological Journal