Religious Studies

Personal identity and Purgatory

a1 Department of Philosophy, State University of New York at Buffalo, 135 Park Hall, Amherst, NY 14260
a2 Department of Philosophy, Niagara University, 357 Dunleavy Hall, Niagara, NY 14109

Article author query
hershenov db   [Google Scholar] 
koch-hershenov r   [Google Scholar] 


If Purgatory involves just an immaterial soul undergoing a transformation between our death and resurrection, then, as Aquinas recognized, it won't be us in Purgatory. Drawing upon Parfit's ideas about identity not being what matters to us, we explore whether the soul's experience of Purgatory could still be beneficial to it as well as the deceased human who didn't experience the purging yet would possess the purged soul upon resurrection. We also investigate an alternative non-Thomistic hylomorphic account of Purgatory in which humans would survive during the period between death and resurrection in a bodiless form with a soul as their only proper part.