In his treatise on the resurrection of the flesh, Tertullian makes an intriguing connection between the phenomenology of baptism and the resurrection of the body. Baptism, he points out, is a corporeal rite, and this washing of the body points ot a resurrection of the body: "unless it were a bodily resurrection, there would be no pledge secured through this process of a corporeal baptism." The soul, he argues, is not "sanctified by the baptismal bath." Rather, the sanctification of the soul comes through the "answer," an appparent allusion to 1 Peter 3:21 (ch 38). I'm not particularly taken with the body/soul problematic that Tertullian introduces here, but the connection of corporeal washing to corporeal resurrection is important. It is the same connection Paul makes in Rom 6, and there Paul includes the "bodily" practices of the Christian life as part of the death and resurrection achieved in baptism. Perhaps also 1 Corinthians 15:29.
posted by Peter J. Leithart on Monday, May 30, 2005 at 11:32 AM
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