Developments in biblical studies, neurosciences, and Christian philosophy of mind force theologians to reconsider the traditional concept of the immortal soul. At the same time, the concept itself tends to create axiological dualism between the body and the soul that in turn may lead to insufficient appreciation of the physical life in this world. A more holistic approach to the ontology of human beings is required. The aim of this study is to analyze the function of the concept of the soul in the dualistic anthropology of John Calvin and to compare it to the holistic anthropology of Karl Barth in order to answer the question of whether the transition from one to the other is possible without the loss of the functions fulfilled by the soul.
"This book is a worthwhile contribution to the understanding of both Calvin and Barth. It is also valuable for those with an interest in issues such as the relation between soul and body, the immortality of the soul, metaphysical and axiological dualism, and the image of God. Well worth reading."
--Anthony N. S. Lane, Professor of Historical Theology, London School of Theology
"Viazovski explains why Christian theology risks losing its soul if it fails to understand the human soul. Carefully listening to Calvin and Barth, he opposes dualistic tendencies in theology and concludes that Jesus Christ and not the soul is the bridge to God and the ground of hope in life everlasting."
--Henk van den Belt, Professor of Reformed Theology, University of Groningen, The Netherlands
"Viazovski has written a well-conceived book. He clearly states his thesis in the opening chapter and then presses his argument throughout the entire work with compelling force. He is to be commended for writing such a lucid, well-argued book. What is more, his book is thought-provoking to the point of displacing old paradigms. The work is, therefore, foundational and I believe others will build upon his scholarly insights."
--Jeffrey A. Stivason, Adjunct Professor of Pastoral Theology, Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary