Augustine, one of western Christianity's most influential early Christian thinkers, described the soul as "a special substance, endowed with reason, adapted to rule the body". Some Christians espouse a trichotomic view of humans, which characterizes humans as consisting of a body (soma), soul (psyche), and spirit (pneuma).  However, the majority of modern Bible scholars point out how spirit and soul are used interchangeably in many biblical passages, and so hold to dichotomy: the view that each of us is body and soul. Paul said that the "body wars against" the soul, "For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit" (Heb 4:12 NASB), and that "I buffet my body", to keep it under control.

 

Trichotomy was changed to dichotomy as tenet of Christian faith at the Council of Constantinople in 869 regarded as the 8th Ecumenical Council by Roman Catholics. Some Christians still hold to trichotomy as it supports a view of separation between the spiritual and the earthly or created rhelms. See an essay on Soul from Unity Spiritual Center for an explanation refuting a body-soul-spirit interpretation.

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Can the soul be detached from the body?

Body, Soul and Spirit

Unity Spiritual Center

10101 West Coggins Drive

Sun City Arizona 85351

623-974-6443

Minister

Rev. Sharon Connors