How does spirit relate to body? In this book, Karen Felter Vaucanson presents two adverse answers to this fundamental question, and she gives a detailed description and evaluation of the philosophies from which they stem. Whether we conceive of being in terms of static and isolated units or as processual and inherently relational, the answer to the spirit-body problem has implications for how we understand God, the universe, and ourselves. The work of seventeenth-century philosopher Anne Conway is the fulcrum of Karen Felter Vaucanson’s analysis of the intellectual struggle between these competing world-views. She shows how these two philosophical paradigms have existed side by side through centuries, from Platonism until present day process philosophy. In this systematic theological analysis, she traces the implications of Conway’s thought for the question of the God-world relation, and that of personal identity.
This book offers a combination of detailed analyses of concrete texts and general perspectives on intellectual history. It wrestles with major problems, which no theologian or philosopher can avoid, and is therefore of general interest for all who study theology and philosophy.