The discourse of the dichotomy of spirit and body in the philosophy of Protestantism

Keywords: the burghers, Bible, the Gospel ethics, Reformation, idealism, reason, dualism


Studying the dichotomy of «soul-body» in the protestant teaching showed that those practical conclusions that the reformators put high in their ideology, Descartes cast in the method of the «pure thought» which motes from the universal to the particular by means of the «pure reason» without any influence of the body. It is known, however, that this assumption does not correspond to Descartes’ later assertion of the unity of the reason and the body. Though many scientists claim that this opposition cannot be eliminated the recent tendency to solve their complicated relations is rather vivid. It is aimed at non-oppositional considering the dichotomy of «soul-body», disputing the claim that all the modes are lither absolutely mental or absolutely physical ones.It is proved that the protestant ethics was constructed on the ideals of the community; at the initial stage protestants stood for the interests of the majority of people, for the truth for everybody; their ethics had a mass character, that is why the Reformation historically turned out to be more supported by people than humanism, being oriented at the social and political realization. Hence the specific character of subjectivation at that period Asserting the thesis that man is unable to reach salvation by his own capabilities reformators by no means disrupt the link between salvation and morality. The problem lies in the fact that the moral ideal in the protestants teachings was unmeasurably high and not attainable «by definition» – Christ’s personality and extreme demands of the new Testament; simultaneously the verge between the freedom of the moral intuition and amoralism appears to be extremely thin. The faith does not secure man against a moral error, lust for the body does not disappear, «the damaged» nature of man does not change. The faith is realigned in «the voice» of the conscience, but listenery to it man inevitably «transcripts» the voice into the language of actions. Thus, proclaiming powerlessness of man, the Reformation proclaims the highest degree of the moral responsibility.The nationality of the modernity having refused the radical binarism of soul and body, enters into the opening «New World» of the anthropocentrism; Descartes claims that ethical norms should be considered in «the light of Reason», thus identifying moral virtues with reasoning. The paradox character of the Reformation teaching is also represented in the fact that its ideology, enhancing intolerance, asserts pluralism. The former position is directly connected with that «postmodern situation» that the western world is living through now.


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How to Cite
Teslenko, T. (2018). The discourse of the dichotomy of spirit and body in the philosophy of Protestantism. Grani, 20(12), 12-17.