Aquinas Lecture 2011: Fr. Bryan Kromholtz, OP "The Dead in Christ Will Rise: Thomas Aquinas and Current Ideas on the Time of the Resurrection"
The 21st Annual Aquinas Lecture
The Dead in Christ Will Rise: Thomas Aquinas and Current Ideas on the Time of the Resurrection by Fr. Bryan Kromholtz, OP
March 2, 2011
Click on the image below to view the video of the lecture.
When will the resurrection of the dead occur? Since at least the medieval period, the standard answer had been that the resurrection will occur when Christ comes again in glory, at the end of the world. This conception of resurrection (which is also St. Thomas Aquinas's view) normally includes the belief that, after death, each individual will continue to exist in a non-bodily "interim state" until resurrection. However, in recent times, such a possibility of non-bodily existence has been called into question; thus, such conceptions of the time of the resurrection also are being reconsidered, with some theologians suggesting that the time of the resurrection be identified with the individual's moment of death ("resurrection in death").
In this lecture, Fr. Kromholtz showed how the focus on the problem of the "interim state" may obscure significant aspects of Christian eschatology, aspects that are prominent in Thomas's account of the time of the resurrection. Thomas consistently taught that the resurrection will occur when Christ returns in glory, at the end of the world, for everyone at the same time. In this, the Angelic Doctor highlights the theological significance of human persons dependence on Jesus Christ, their communion with one another in the Church, and their relationship with the created world. Thomas's attention to these three dimensions (Christ, Church, and cosmos) anticipates many current concerns and can contribute to a better understanding of resurrection for today, one that more fully accounts for the Christological, ecclesiological, cosmological, and corporeal aspects of eschatology.
Fr. Kromholtz recently published his dissertation, "On the Last Day. The Time of the Resurrection of the Dead according to Thomas Aquinas."