Aquinas on whether the resurrected body is a “recycled” body

According to St. Thomas, in order for the resurrected body to be the “same” body as it was previously, the same prime matter must be used. As Marie George points out, however, St. Thomas seems not to have been entirely consistent in his adherence to this principle, for in some places he

seems to say that any suitable matter to which the soul could be united would constitute the same body. He acknowledges that the matter constituting the body changes during one’s lifetime, and this without prejudice to one’s individuality [SCG IV, c. 81]. Thus it is puzzling that he would hold that one would need (some of) the matter that had actually constituted one’s body in order to have the same body, when new matter, so long as it is of the appropriate sort, would seem to do just as well. (George, “Aquinas on Reincarnation,” 43-4)

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