Christians believe the spirit survives the body.
The philosopher René Descartes equated mind and spirit and tried to prove them totally separable from the body. Are they? Cocky young Professor Eric Behrens curses the world and wishes he were someone, anyone, else. He trips, is knocked out, and wakes in the body of a middle-aged, overweight Benedictine monk with a severe heart defect. He must survive in an alien environment and in a defective body, while trying to “go home again.”
Anselm: a Metamorphosis by Florence Byham Weinberg plays upon an ancient longing as well as ancient fears. What is it like, it asks, to wake up as another person, unrecognizable even to those closest to one, being in all but one way wholly new to oneself? That one way is an abiding sense of self-identity. In a fascinating tour de force, this novel follows the sudden change in the identity of a carefree young English professor into a middle-aged priest by exploring many layers of his consciousness… A fantasy? Of course. Unreality? No. Instead of removing himself and becoming another, the searching protagonist of Anselm achieves a sense of his true identity that had been closed to him before. —Ralph Freedman, author of Hermann Hesse, Pilgrim of Crisis