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April 21, 2014

The Resurrection of Christ as a Response to Reincarnation

By Protopresbyter Fr. Thomas Vamvinis

The resurrection is the hope that Christ brought to the world that lived under the dominion of death. It is an event that shows the value of the human body, because what we expect as a result of the Resurrection of Christ is the resurrection of the bodies that were dissolved after their separation from their souls. The proclamation, therefore, of the Resurrection of Christ, and the consequences it has on the whole human race, is the answer of Christianity to all those who talk about reincarnation, whether they have been influenced by ancient Greek philosophers or by Oriental religions.

Reincarnation undervalues the body. It considers it a prison of the soul or a garment cast off in order for the individual soul to be lost in the fantastic universal soul. It believes that man is his soul.

Orthodox teaching says that man is a combination of soul and body, created in the "image of God". The body Christ assumed is called by the Fathers of our Church "identical with God" (ομόθεο). Due to the relationship of the saints with Christ their resurrected bodies will radiate with the glory of divinity. Proof of this fact are their myrrhgushing and wondrous relics.

Source: Ekklesiastiki Paremvasi, "Ανάσταση και μετενσάρκωση", April 2001. Translated by John Sanidopoulos.