Angels, Immateriality, and the Soul

Among Orthodox Christians, today is the feast day of the Archangels Michael and Gabriel and of all the “bodiless powers of heaven.” I’m reflecting this morning on immateriality, my belief that the physical world cannot encompass the fullness of human experience or of existence as such. As David Bentley Hart has argued, materialism cannot explain at least three perennial problems of our experience: being, consciousness, and bliss. For this, we can turn to the explanations offered by philosophical idealists, theologians, and the Church.

Along these lines, I’d like to share the following interview with J.P. Moreland, an Evangelical theologian and professor at Biola University. Moreland is a substance dualist, metaphysical libertarian, and articulate defender of traditional Christian philosophy and practice. Although he engages mostly with the problems and discourse of modern philosophy, many of his thoughts seem to accord with the teachings of the Church Fathers. Here, he is interviewed by the eccentric truth-seeker and unfortunate apologist for the Chinese Communist Party, Robert Lawrence Kuhn. In the video, Moreland provides a compelling account of the soul and its properties.

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