A final note from me this Eastertide about the resurrection (more or less picking up on some comments already made below).
Casey's presumption of "appearances" driving the NT belief in the resurrection of Jesus forward, including an increasing desire to narrate that resurrection in ever more physical terms (i.e. empty tomb, Jesus eating food), has a certain attraction to it. For instance, it gets around general post-Enlightenment objections to miracles (of the reversal or acceleration of nature kind) such that they just do not happen, while providing an explanation for how a very strong, core belief in a dynamic religious movement comes into existence. It also helps account for the apparent contradiction between 1 Corinthians 15 (no mention of empty tomb) and the set of narratives in the four gospels which show signs of evolutionary development in the direction of 'bodily' rather than 'appearance' resurrection experiences of Jesus. Nevertheless, as commenters here have pointed out, an "appearances" approach to the resurrection of Jesus raises a number of questions.
One question I am sitting with, especially in relation to accounting for the scriptural references to resurrection, is where the cumulative strength of belief in the resurrection of Jesus derives from? This strength is attested to in the NT via the narratives/traditions (gospels, various speeches in Acts, 1 Corinthians 15), the integration of the resurrection in theology, christology and eschatology (e.g. Romans 1: 4, Ephesians 1:19-20, Philippians 3:11, 1 Peter 1:3, to say nothing of the meta-narrative of the whole New Testament: the whole collection is driven forward by the burgeoning Christian movement which in turn is propelled forward as a mission outreach in the face of immense opposition (religiously from fellow Jews, socio-politically from Greeks and Romans), all generated by the conviction that the mission of Jesus himself did not end with his crucifixion.
I "get" the point made ad nauseam by Western questioners, both within the church and without, that (1) nothing here proves the empty tomb was empty, and (2) narratives of the empty tomb serve the doctrine of the resurrection, so are intrinsically open to suspicion.
But with many other Western affirmers of the belief that Jesus' body was raised to life (in a new resurrection body), I am left with the problem that if "appearances" do not provide sufficient explanation for the cumulative strength of the role the resurrection plays in the NT as a collection of writings as well as in the development of first century Christianity, what does?