For centuries historians have been wondered what the sixth-century Origenists really meant when they taught that at the general resurrection human beings will be given spherical bodies. It’s really quite baffling. A spherical body? What the frack! Who wants a spherical body? It might be fun if one wants to roll somewhere, but who wants to spend eternity just rolling around? Boring.
Baffle no longer, friends. The geniuses at Pixar figured out the solution in 2008!
Spherical bodies = obese bodies. Apparently the Origenists believed that being overweight was a sign of God’s favor–the more overweight the better! What then would be the perfect shape of a resurrected body, philosophers asked? A sphere!
Pixar’s Wall-E is in fact a critical meditation on Origenist heaven. As the passengers of the starship Axiom eventually discover, having spherical bodies is not as heavenly as it’s cracked up to be. Emperor Justianian saw this clearly way back in A.D. 553. His fifteen anti-Origenist anathemas were the Roman Empire’s first attempt to establish an imperial fitness program. Unfortunately the program was a failure and obesity became a major health problem among all segments of the population, eventually leading to the fall of Constantinople nine centuries later. For reasons historians have not yet uncovered, the anathemas were misunderstood by the bishops of the Church as addressing bizarre theological propositions no one in their right mind ever believed. There are important lessons to be learned here.