Here's this other question that asks the question "According to Roman Catholicism, how old will our resurrection bodies be?"

The answers to the question talk along the line of that a persons physical body is resurrected. One of the answers includes this segment from the Catechism of the Catholic Church

The "resurrection of the flesh" (the literal formulation of the Apostles' Creed) means not only that the immortal soul will live on after death, but that even our "mortal body" will come to life again.

(emphasis added by me)

My understanding about Catholic beliefs, and about Christian beliefs in general, is that inside ourselves we have an immortal soul that continues living after the body is dead. Answers that talk about the Catholic view of this can be found for example here and here.


According to Catholicism, what do we need a resurrection for since we have an immortal soul that survives the death of the body?

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    The short answer: Humans are not disembodied souls or angels (immaterial intelligent beings). Humans are body-soul composites.
    – Geremia
    Commented Mar 8, 2018 at 3:14
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    "inside ourselves we have an immortal soul that continues living after the body is dead". Nearly all Christians believe that. Nearly all Christians also believe that humanity's original form was both and soul, and also that the end of days will be a restoration of all that was lost in the Fall. Thus to be soul without body for eternity would be an incomplete restoration.
    – user3961
    Commented May 20, 2020 at 20:38
  • The contrary interpretations (e.g. annihilationism) state that there is no immortal soul, or at least state there is no consciousness after death until the body is resurrected at the end of days. In both schools of thought, restoration is made complete by resurrecting the righteous dead into fleshly human bodies.
    – user3961
    Commented May 20, 2020 at 20:41

1 Answer 1


Although I am not a Catholic, I feel confident that I can answer this, as the answer is shared by all Chalcedonian Christians.

This question really gets to the heart of what it means to be a human. And the best way to answer that is to look to the incarnation of Christ.

In the incarnation the eternal person of God the Son was united to a finite human nature. Chalcedonian Christians believe that the incarnation was not just God the Son talking on a human body, but a complete human nature: a human soul, a human mind, a human will, human emotions and desires. Just as a human body has many organs but none of those organs are enough to be called a human by themselves, so too a human person has physical and non-physical parts, which by themselves are not enough to be considered human by themselves. In the early church Apollinaris argued that Jesus had just his single divine mind and took on a human body. This was declared to be heretical by the First Council of Constantinople, as it meant that Jesus was not fully human.

Many Christians today fall into the same trap. I've heard Christians say that we are a soul who has a body. This is a departure from orthodox Christianity which says that the human nature is a complex union of body and soul (a complex union in the sense that it is one thing but yet has distinct parts or aspects.) Instead we should say that human beings are body-soul unions. While the human soul and body may be temporarily separated from each other, that is an unnatural state for a human to be in. Just as Jesus Christ forever remains incarnate in the flesh, so too will the souls of all humans be reunited to flesh in the resurrection.

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    Actually, that completely represents orthodox Catholic teaching in the matter. I could suggest some Catechism quotes but that's about it. Commented Mar 8, 2018 at 13:25
  • @Matt Thanks! If you know of any Catechism references feel free to add them, but don't feel you need to if it would take any substantial amount of time.
    – curiousdannii
    Commented Mar 8, 2018 at 13:28
  • @curiousdannii, thank you for your answer. Based on this is the correct belief then that humans will have their fleshly body in the afterlife?
    – alec
    Commented Mar 8, 2018 at 17:26
  • @curiousdannii - what about people who have amputated legs/arms? Are they no longer humans?
    – user50422
    Commented Mar 6, 2021 at 14:12
  • @Spirit No, and I don't know how you would even get that idea from what I wrote here.
    – curiousdannii
    Commented Mar 6, 2021 at 23:07

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