Pauline Anthropology, Resurrection, and 1 Corinthians 15
LEUNG Chun Ho Bernard

The anthropological presuppositions of Pauline theology are usually not issues to which students of the New Testament give precedence. Questions such as "What is humanity?" "Who am I?" "Why do people sin?" "Are humans truly free?" etc. are considered relating directly to the disciplines of dogmatic theology, philosophical anthropology, or even psychology and sociology, and less pertaining to Pauline studies. However, anthropology is inextricably intertwined with nearly every aspect of Pauline theology, including Christology, soteriology, ecclesiology, and eschatology. The key terminology of Pauline anthropology, i.e. "body," "flesh," "soul," "spirit," etc., is part and parcel of Paul's discourses on the nature and purpose of Law, Sin, and Death. One important topic in anthropology is particularly heuristic to our discussion of Paul's teaching of the resurrection of the dead: the continuity of identity of individuals. What makes a person's identity remain unchanged in the afterlife? How can we claim that a person who was dead will have the same "self" in the resurrection? The questions become more difficult if we consider 1 Corinthians 15 which emphasizes the discontinuity between the resurrected body and the dead. This paper explores the study of anthropology in Pauline studies in recent decades. It suggests that, instead of "personal identity" as a human being, Paul highlights the "collective identity" of the believers in Christ who is the representative of those entering the heavenly existence. The continuity of identity is somehow preserved in collective terms despite the marked contrast or discontinuity in the resurrection.