The Eight Theses of Giordano Bruno: Point 8, Body and Soul are One

The Eight Theses of Giordano Bruno: Point 8, Body and Soul are One

The final point of heresy brought against Giordano Bruno reads thusly:

8) The opposition to the doctrine of St. Thomas on the soul, the spiritual reality held captive in the body and not considered as the form of the human body.

Bruno, for most of his career, spoke out fiercely against the Aristotelianism that had gripped the Church. His ideas on Soul, heavily influenced by Egyptian thinking and Hermeticism, were far from what Christian Aristotelianism taught. Bruno, in contrast to St. Thomas Aquinas, believed that Soul was part of the body, since all material things are divine. Aquinas taught that 

the soul is capable of existing apart from the living body after the death of the body. This might suggest that he is a kind of Substance Dualist, the soul being one substance and the body another, with the soul “interacting” as it were with the other substance, the body. However this picture fails to recognize the Aristotelian terms of the account that Aquinas provides of soul and body (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy).

Bruno spoke thusly, concerning souls and bodies:

…since the soul does not exist without body and does not exist in the body, it may pass from body to body even as matter may pass from mass to mass (The Pope and the Heretic, by Michael White).

Bruno believed that the entire cosmos is one living organism and one substance.

This post has been read 1654 times!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

5 × five =