Today I was reading more about Orthodoxy, when I came across a discussion about the role of the human body in prayer. One side of the discussion was that prayer was a matter of the head (or mind), totally divorced from the body. (Kind of a Greek understanding of the human being as two parts: body and soul.) Whereas the other side of the discussion was that prayer was a matter of the whole person - body and soul. (Kind of the Hebraic understanding of the human being as a wholistic person which they refer to as the "heart.") Which got me thinking about the Simpsons...
There is an episode where Bart sells his sole to his friend Millhouse for $5, because he doesn't believe in such a thing as a soul. Later on in the episode, he starts to feel as though he is changing: things that used to make him laugh are no longer funny, the cat and dog both bristle at him, and as she is hugging him before bedtime, Marge says: "What's wrong, honey? You don't feel like my special little guy?" All this puts the fear of God (literally) into Bart. He goes to search for his soul which Millhouse has sold to the comicbook store guy, who has sold it again to someone else. Finally, he prays for to God to help him get his soul back...I won't spoil the ending for you.
This all got me thinking about what is our understanding of what it means to be a human being and what are the theological implications of that for prayer? resurrection? death of the body? soul?...?
What are your thoughts? What does it mean to be a human being? How are our bodies, souls, spirits, hearts connected? How does that influence your understanding of God and our response to God?