This thesis is a Christological reflection on the wounded warrior as a human person whose Christian hope is the resurrection of the body. It primarily considers the servicemen and women who have suffered irreparable damage to their bodies and the consequences of such injuries for the wounded warriors’ bodies post-resurrection. In particular, this thesis examines how the human person is a psychosomatic union, the retention of the marks of crucifixion in Christ’s Resurrected Body, the wounded bodies of martyrs and stigmatics, and the Mystical Body of Christ in glory. The key difference between the wounds of Christ, the martyrs and stigmatics and the wounds of the warriors is that the former are redemptive and salvific, while the latter are potential signs and instances of caritas.
This thesis begins with a survey of the Greek, Hebrew, and New Testament roots for the Christian understanding of the human person as a body-soul union and belief in the resurrection. It then considers the human person in light of Christ: in his filial relationship with the Father and in his hypostatic union. This thesis reflects on the confessional and narrative traditions in Scripture and the resurrection belief which flowed out of these traditions. It also examines the wounded bodies of Christ, the martyrs, and the stigmatics. Lastly, this thesis considers the glorification of Christ’s Mystical Body and how this communion of knowledge and love is significant for the wounded warrior.
The Body of Christ is the focal point of this reflection because Christ reveals the image of man to humanity, and he is the “first-born of the dead” (Rev 1:5). His is the only resurrected body of which we know. The grammar of this exploration is the language of Scripture, the soul of theology and the principal testimony to Christ’s Resurrected and Mystical Body, and the creedal, conciliar, devotional, and liturgical language of the Tradition of the Church.