Celestial Spheres: Angelic Bodies & Hyperspace

Bibliographic Information: 

Freeman, Austin. “Celestial Spheres”. TheoLogica: An International Journal for Philosophy of Religion and Philosophical Theology 2, no. 2 (October 9, 2018). Accessed November 10, 2018. https://ojs.uclouvain.be/index.php/theologica/article/view/1883.

Description

Angels probably have bodies. There is no good evidence (biblical, philosophical, or historical) to argue against their bodiliness; there is an abundance of evidence (biblical, philosophical, historical) that makes the case for angelic bodies. After surveying biblical texts alleged to demonstrate angelic incorporeality, the discussion moves to examine patristic, medieval, and some modern figures on the subject. In short, before the High Medieval period belief in angelic bodies was the norm, and afterwards it is the exception. A brief foray into modern physics and higher spatial dimensions (termed “hyperspace”), coupled with an analogical use of Edwin Abbott’s Flatland, serves to explain the way in which appealing to higher-dimensional angelic bodies matches the record of angelic activity in the Bible remarkably well. This position also cuts through a historical equivocation on the question of angelic embodiment. Angels do have bodies, but they are bodies very unlike our own. They do not have bodies in any three-dimensional space we can observe, but are nevertheless embodied beings.

Publisher: 
TheoLogica: An International Journal for Philosophy of Religion and Philosophical Theology