QUESTION 79: OF THE CONDITIONS OF THOSE WHO RISE AGAIN, AND FIRST OF THEIR IDENTITY
In the next place we must consider the conditions of those who rise
again. Here we shall consider: (1) Those which concern the good and
wicked in common; (2) those which concern the good only; (3) those which
concern only the wicked. Three things concern the good and wicked in
common, namely their identity, their integrity, and their quality: and we
shall inquire (1) about their identity; (2) about their integrity; (3)
about their quality.
Under the first head there are three points of inquiry:
(1) Whether the body will rise again identically the same?
(2) Whether it will be the self-same man?
(3) Whether it is necessary that the same ashes should return to the
same parts in which they were before?
Article 1: Whether in the resurrection the soul will be reunited to the same identical body?
Objection 1: It would seem that the soul will not be reunited to the same
identical body at the resurrection, for "thou sowest not the body that
shall be, but bare grain" (1 Cor. 15:37). Now the Apostle is there
comparing death to sowing and resurrection to fructifying. Therefore the
same body that is laid aside in death is not resumed at the resurrection.
Objection 2: Further, to every form some matter is adapted according to its
condition, and likewise to every agent some instrument. Now the body is
compared to the soul as matter to form, and as instrument to agent. Since
then at the resurrection the soul will not be of the same condition as
now (for it will be either entirely borne away to the heavenly life to
which it adhered while living in the world, or will be cast down into the
life of the brutes if it lived as a brute in this world) it would seem
that it will not resume the same body, but either a heavenly or a brutish
Objection 3: Further, after death, as stated above (Question , Article ), the human
body is dissolved into the elements. Now these elemental parts into which
the human body has been dissolved do not agree with the human body
dissolved into them, except in primary matter, even as any other
elemental parts agree with that same body. But if the body were to be
formed from those other elemental parts, it would not be described as
identically the same. Therefore neither will it be the self-same body if
it be restored from these parts.
Objection 4: Further, there cannot be numerical identity where there is
numerical distinction of essential parts. Now the form of the mixed body,
which form is an essential part of the human body, as being its form,
cannot be resumed in numerical identity. Therefore the body will not be
identically the same. The minor is proved thus: That which passes away
into complete nonentity cannot be resumed in identity. This is clear from
the fact that there cannot be identity where there is distinction of
existence: and existence, which is the act of a being, is differentiated
by being interrupted, as is any interrupted act. Now the form of a mixed
body passes away into complete nonentity by death, since it is a bodily
form, and so also do the contrary qualities from which the mixture
results. Therefore the form of a mixed body does not return in identity.
On the contrary, It is written (Job 19:26): "In my flesh I shall see God
my Saviour [Vulg.: 'my God']," where he is speaking of the vision after
the resurrection, as appears from the preceding words: "In the last day I
shall rise out of the earth." Therefore the selfsame body will rise again.
Further, the Damascene says (De Fide Orth. iv, 27): "Resurrection is the
second rising of that which has fallen." But the body which we have now
fell by death. Therefore it will rise again the same identically.
I answer that, on this point the philosophers erred and certain modern
heretics err. For some of the philosophers allowed that souls separated
from bodies are reunited to bodies, yet they erred in this in two ways.
First, as to the mode of reunion, for some held the separated soul to be
naturally reunited to a body by the way of generation. Secondly, as to
the body to which it was reunited, for they held that this second union
was not with the selfsame body that was laid aside in death, but with
another, sometimes of the same, sometimes of a different species. Of a
different species when the soul while existing in the body had led a life
contrary to the ordering of reason: wherefore it passed after death from
the body of a man into the body of some other animal to whose manner of
living it had conformed in this life, for instance into the body of a dog
on account of lust, into the body of a lion on account of robbery and
violence, and so forth---and into a body of the same species when the
soul has led a good life in the body, and having after death experienced
some happiness, after some centuries began to wish to return to the body;
and thus it was reunited to a human body.
This opinion arises from two false sources. The first of these is that
they said that the soul is not united to the body essentially as form to
matter, but only accidentally, as mover to the thing moved, [*Cf. FP,
Question , Article ] or as a man to his clothes. Hence it was possible for them
to maintain that the soul pre-existed before being infused into the body
begotten of natural generation, as also that it is united to various
bodies. The second is that they held intellect not to differ from sense
except accidentally, so that man would be said to surpass other animals
in intelligence, because the sensitive power is more acute in him on
account of the excellence of his bodily complexion; and hence it was
possible for them to assert that man's soul passes into the soul of a
brute animal, especially when the human soul has been habituated to
brutish actions. But these two sources are refuted by the Philosopher (De
Anima ii, 1), and in consequence of these being refuted, it is clear that
the above opinion is false.
In like manner the errors of certain heretics are refuted. Some of them
fell into the aforesaid opinions of the philosophers: while others held
that souls are reunited to heavenly bodies, or again to bodies subtle as
the wind, as Gregory relates of a certain Bishop of Constantinople, in
his exposition of Job 19:26, "In my flesh I shall see my God," etc.
Moreover these same errors of heretics may be refuted by the fact that
they are prejudicial to the truth of resurrection as witnessed to by Holy
Writ. For we cannot call it resurrection unless the soul return to the
same body, since resurrection is a second rising, and the same thing
rises that falls: wherefore resurrection regards the body which after
death falls rather than the soul which after death lives. And
consequently if it be not the same body which the soul resumes, it will
not be a resurrection, but rather the assuming of a new body.
Reply to Objection 1: A comparison does not apply to every particular, but to
some. For in the sowing of grain, the grain sown and the grain that is
born thereof are neither identical, nor of the same condition, since it
was first sown without a husk, yet is born with one: and the body will
rise again identically the same, but of a different condition, since it
was mortal and will rise in immortality.
Reply to Objection 2: The soul rising again and the soul living in this world
differ, not in essence but in respect of glory and misery, which is an
accidental difference. Hence it follows that the body in rising again
differs, not in identity, but in condition, so that a difference of
bodies corresponds proportionally to the difference of souls.
Reply to Objection 3: That which is understood as though it were in matter
before its form remains in matter after corruption, because when that
which comes afterwards is removed that which came before may yet remain.
Now, as the Commentator observes on the First Book of Physics and in De
Substantia Orbis, in the matter of things subject to generation and
corruption, we must presuppose undeterminate dimensions, by reason of
which matter is divisible, so as to be able to receive various forms in
its various parts. Wherefore after the separation of the substantial form
from matter, these dimensions still remain the same: and consequently the
matter existing under those dimensions, whatever form it receive, is more
identified with that which was generated from it, than any other part of
matter existing under any form whatever. Thus the matter that will be
brought back to restore the human body will be the same as that body's
Reply to Objection 4: Even as a simple quality is not the substantial form of an
element, but its proper accident, and the disposition whereby its matter
is rendered proper to such a form; so the form of a mixed body, which
form is a quality resulting from simple qualities reduced to a mean, is
not the substantial form of the mixed body, but its proper accident, and
the disposition whereby the matter is in need of the form. Now the human
body has no substantial form besides this form of the mixed body, except
the rational soul, for if it had any previous substantial form, this
would give it substantial being, and would establish it in the genus of
substance: so that the soul would be united to a body already established
in the genus of substance, and thus the soul would be compared to the
body as artificial forms are to their matter, in respect of their being
established in the genus of substance by their matter. Hence the union of
the soul to the body would be accidental, which is the error of the
ancient philosophers refuted by the Philosopher (De Anima ii, 2 [*Cf. FP,
Question , Article ]). It would also follow that the human body and each of its
parts would not retain their former names in the same sense, which is
contrary to the teaching of the Philosopher (De Anima ii, 1). Therefore
since the rational soul remains, no substantial form of the human body
falls away into complete nonentity. And the variation of accidental forms
does not make a difference of identity. Therefore the selfsame body will
rise again, since the selfsame matter is resumed as stated in a previous
reply (ad 2).
Article 2: Whether it will be identically the same man that shall rise again?
Objection 1: It would seem that it will not be identically the same man that
shall rise again. For according to the Philosopher (De Gener. ii):
"Whatsoever things are changed in their corruptible substance are not
repeated identically." Now such is man's substance in his present state.
Therefore after the change wrought by death the self-same man cannot be
Objection 2: Further, where there is a distinction of human nature there is
not the same identical man: wherefore Socrates and Plato are two men and
not one man, since each has his own distinct human nature. Now the human
nature of one who rises again is distinct from that which he has now.
Therefore he is not the same identical man. The minor can be proved in
two ways. First, because human nature which is the form of the whole is
not both form and substance as the soul is, but is a form only. Now such
like forms pass away into complete nonentity, and consequently they
cannot be restored. Secondly, because human nature results from union of
parts. Now the same identical union as that which was heretofore cannot
be resumed, because repetition is opposed to identity, since repetition
implies number, whereas identity implies unity, and these are
incompatible with one another. But resurrection is a repeated union:
therefore the union is not the same, and consequently there is not the
same human nature nor the same man.
Objection 3: Further, one same man is not several animals: wherefore if it is
not the same animal it is not the same identical man. Now where sense is
not the same, there is not the same animal, since animal is defined from
the primary sense, namely touch. But sense, as it does not remain in the
separated soul (as some maintain), cannot be resumed in identity.
Therefore the man who rises again will not be the same identical animal,
and consequently he will not be the same man.
Objection 4: Further, the matter of a statue ranks higher in the statue than
the matter of a man does in man: because artificial things belong to the
genus of substance by reason of their matter, but natural things by
reason of their form, as appears from the Philosopher (Phys. ii, 1), and
again from the Commentator (De Anima ii). But if a statue is remade from
the same brass, it will not be the same identically. Therefore much less
will it be identically the same man if he be reformed from the same ashes.
On the contrary, It is written (Job 19:27): "Whom I myself shall see . .
. and not another," and he is speaking of the vision after the
resurrection. Therefore the same identical man will rise again.
Further, Augustine says (De Trin. viii, 5) that "to rise again is naught
else but to live again." Now unless the same identical man that died
return to life, he would not be said to live again. Therefore he would
not rise again, which is contrary to faith.
I answer that, The necessity of holding the resurrection arises from
this---that man may obtain the last end for which he was made; for this
cannot be accomplished in this life, nor in the life of the separated
soul, as stated above (Question , Articles ,2): otherwise man would have been
made in vain, if he were unable to obtain the end for which he was made.
And since it behooves the end to be obtained by the selfsame thing that
was made for that end, lest it appear to be made without purpose, it is
necessary for the selfsame man to rise again; and this is effected by the
selfsame soul being united to the selfsame body. For otherwise there
would be no resurrection properly speaking, if the same man were not
reformed. Hence to maintain that he who rises again is not the selfsame
man is heretical, since it is contrary to the truth of Scripture which
proclaims the resurrection.
Reply to Objection 1: The Philosopher is speaking of repetition by movement or
natural change. For he shows the difference between the recurrence that
occurs in generation and corruption and that which is observed in the
movement of the heavens. Because the selfsame heaven by local movement
returns to the beginning of its movement, since it has a moved
incorruptible substance. On the other hand, things subject to generation
and corruption return by generation to specific but not numerical
identity, because from man blood is engendered, from blood seed, and so
on until a man is begotten, not the selfsame man, but the man
specifically. In like manner from fire comes air, from air water, from
water earth, whence fire is produced, not the selfsame fire, but the same
in species. Hence it is clear that the argument, so far as the meaning of
the Philosopher is concerned, is not to the point.
We may also reply that the form of other things subject to generation
and corruption is not subsistent of itself, so as to be able to remain
after the corruption of the composite, as it is with the rational soul.
For the soul, even after separation from the body, retains the being
which accrues to it when in the body, and the body is made to share that
being by the resurrection, since the being of the body and the being of
the soul in the body are not distinct from one another, otherwise the
union of soul and body would be accidental. Consequently there has been
no interruption in the substantial being of man, as would make it
impossible for the self-same man to return on account of an interruption
in his being, as is the case with other things that are corrupted, the
being of which is interrupted altogether, since their form remains not,
and their matter remains under another being.
Nevertheless neither does the self-same man recur by natural generation,
because the body of the man begotten is not composed of the whole body of
his begetter: hence his body is numerically distinct, and consequently
his soul and the whole man.
Reply to Objection 2: There are two opinions about humanity and about any form of
a whole. For some say that the form of the whole and the form of the part
are really one and the same: but that it is called the form of the part
inasmuch as it perfects the matter, and the form of the whole inasmuch as
the whole specific nature results therefrom. According to this opinion
humanity is really nothing else than the rational soul: and so, since the
selfsame rational soul is resumed, there will be the same identical
humanity, which will remain even after death, albeit not under the aspect
of humanity, because the composite does not derive the specific nature
from a separated humanity.
The other opinion, which seems nearer the truth, is Avicenna's,
according to whom the form of the whole is not the form of a part only,
nor some other form besides the form of the part, but is the whole
resulting from the composition of form and matter, embracing both within
itself. This form of the whole is called the essence or quiddity. Since
then at the resurrection there will be the selfsame body, and the
selfsame rational soul, there will be, of necessity, the same humanity.
The first argument proving that there will be a distinction of humanity
was based on the supposition that humanity is some distinct form
supervening form and matter; which is false.
The second reason does not disprove the identity of humanity, because
union implies action or passion, and though there be a different union,
this cannot prevent the identity of humanity, because the action and
passion from which humanity resulted are not of the essence of humanity,
wherefore a distinction on their part does not involve a distinction of
humanity: for it is clear that generation and resurrection are not the
self-same movement. Yet the identity of the rising man with the begotten
man is not hindered for this reason: and in like manner neither is the
identity of humanity prevented if we take union for the relation itself:
because this relation is not essential to but concomitant with humanity,
since humanity is not one of those forms that are composition or order
(Phys. ii, 1), as are the forms of things produced by art, so that if
there be another distinct composition there is another distinct form of a
Reply to Objection 3: This argument affords a very good proof against those who
held a distinction between the sensitive and rational souls in man:
because in that case the sensitive soul in man would not be
incorruptible, as neither is it in other animals; and consequently in the
resurrection there would not be the same sensitive soul, and consequently
neither the same animal nor the same man.
But if we assert that in man the same soul is by its substance both
rational and sensitive, we shall encounter no difficulty in this
question, because animal is defined from sense, i.e. the sensitive soul
as from its essential form: whereas from sense, i.e. the sensitive power,
we know its definition as from an accidental form "that contributes more
than another to our knowledge of the quiddity" (De Anima i, 1).
Accordingly after death there remains the sensitive soul, even as the
rational soul, according to its substance: whereas the sensitive powers,
according to some, do not remain. And since these powers are accidental
properties, diversity on their part cannot prevent the identity of the
whole animal, not even of the animal's parts: nor are powers to be called
perfections or acts of organs unless as principles of action, as heat in
Reply to Objection 4: A statue may be considered in two ways, either as a
particular substance, or as something artificial. And since it is placed
in the genus of substance by reason of its matter, it follows that if we
consider it as a particular substance, it is the selfsame statue that is
remade from the same matter. On the other hand, it is placed in the genus
of artificial things inasmuch as it has an accidental form which, if the
statue be destroyed, passes away also. Consequently it does not return
identically the same, nor can the statue be identically the same. But
man's form, namely the soul, remains after the body has perished:
wherefore the comparison fails.
Article 3: Whether the ashes of the human body must needs, by the resurrection, return to the same parts of the body that were dissolved into them?
Objection 1: It would seem necessary for the ashes of the human body to
return, by the resurrection, to the same parts that were dissolved into
them. For, according to the Philosopher, "as the whole soul is to the
whole body, so is a part of the soul to a part of the body, as sight to
the pupil" (De Anima ii, 1). Now it is necessary that after the
resurrection the body be resumed by the same soul. Therefore it is also
necessary for the same parts of the body to return to the same limbs, in
which they were perfected by the same parts of the soul.
Objection 2: Further, difference of matter causes difference of identity. But
if the ashes return not to the same parts, each part will not be remade
from the same matter of which it consisted before. Therefore they will
not be the same identically. Now if the parts are different the whole
will also be different, since parts are to the whole as matter is to form
(Phys. ii, 3). Therefore it will not be the self-same man; which is
contrary to the truth of the resurrection.
Objection 3: Further, the resurrection is directed to the end that man may
receive the meed of his works. Now different parts of the body are
employed in different works, whether of merit or of demerit. Therefore at
the resurrection each part must needs return to its former state that it
may be rewarded in due measure.
On the contrary, Artificial things are more dependent on their matter
than natural things. Now in artificial things, in order that the same
artificial thing be remade, from the same matter, there is no need for
the parts to be brought back to the same position. Neither therefore is
it necessary in man.
Further, change of an accident does not cause a change of identity. Now
the situation of parts is an accident. Therefore its change in a man does
not cause a change of identity.
I answer that, In this question it makes a difference whether we ask
what can be done without prejudice to identity, and what will be done for
the sake of congruity. As regards the first it must be observed that in
man we may speak of parts in two ways: first as of the various parts of a
homogeneous whole, for instance the various parts of flesh, or the
various parts of bone; secondly, as of various parts of various species
of a heterogeneous whole, for instance bone and flesh. Accordingly if it
be said that one part of matter will return to another part of the same
species, this causes no change except in the position of the parts: and
change of position of parts does not change the species in homogeneous
wholes: and so if the matter of one part return to another part, this is
nowise prejudicial to the identity of the whole. Thus is it in the
example given in the text (Sent. iv, D, 44), because a statue, after
being remade, is identically the same, not as to its form, but as to its
matter, in respect of which it is a particular substance, and in this way
a statue is homogeneous, although it is not according to its artificial
form. But if it be said that the matter of one part returns to another
part of another species, it follows of necessity that there is a change
not only in the position of parts, but also in their identity: yet so
that the whole matter, or something belonging to the truth of human
nature in one is transferred to another. but not if what was superfluous
in one part is transferred to another. Now the identity of parts being
taken away, the identity of the whole is removed, if we speak of
essential parts, but not if we speak of accidental parts, such as hair
and nails, to which apparently Augustine refers (De Civ. Dei xxii). It is
thus clear how the transference of matter from one part of another
destroys the identity, and how it does not.
But speaking of the congruity, it is more probable that even the parts
will retain their position at the resurrection, especially as regards the
essential and organic parts, although perhaps not as regards the
accidental parts, such as nails and hair.
Reply to Objection 1: This argument considers organic or heterogeneous parts, but
no homogeneous or like parts.
Reply to Objection 2: A change in the position of the parts of matter does not
cause a change of identity, although difference of matter does.
Reply to Objection 3: Operation, properly speaking, is not ascribed to the part
but to the whole, wherefore the reward is due, not to the part but to the