What constitutes a soul?

At Shepherd Project we are always looking out for trending issues in our culture that have connections to matters of faith. The other day at the movies, I saw two back-to-back previews of completely different types of movies, but echoing the same theme, the same question. See if you recognize it.



It’s the question of the soul. What constitutes a soul? What makes someone or something human? It’s an important question. It determines how we think about a lot of other things…like abortion, like scientific experiment and advancement, like cloning, like whether or not animals deserve the same rights and protections that we do as humans…and even how we approach technological advancements, robotics and the like. But first, we have to answer the question of the soul. What is a soul? Where does it come from? When do we receive our soul?

Ted 2 and Chappie aren’t the only upcoming movies with this theme.  Once you’re aware, you begin to see just how often it comes into play (The Lazarus Effect, out now, and Self/less, upcoming are two more).  These movies don’t just awaken us to the question of the soul, but they also awaken us to various implications of that question–various reasons why it matters that we have an understanding of the soul in the first place.

Next week I’ll give some theological perspective, but first, I’d like to hear your thoughts!

  • How would you define the soul?
  • Where does the soul come from?
  • When do you a think a person receives their soul?
  • How important do you think it is to understand the soul and where it comes from?
  • What moral dilemmas and/or modern issues do you think might be affected by an understanding of the soul?
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