After Lives: A Guide to Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory by John Casey

By John Casey

The most profound, deeply affecting questions we are facing as humans is the problem of our mortality--and its connection to immorality. old animist ghost cultures, Egyptian mummification, past due Jewish hopes of resurrection, Christian everlasting salvation, Muslim trust in hell and paradise all spring from a remarkably constant impulse to tether a overcome loss of life to our behavior in life.In After Lives, British student John Casey presents a wealthy historic and philosophical exploration of the area past, from the traditional Egyptians to St. Thomas Aquinas, from Martin Luther to trendy Mormons. In a full of life, wide-ranging dialogue, he examines such subject matters as predestination, purgatory, Spiritualism, the Rapture, Armageddon and present Muslim apocalyptics, in addition to the effect of such affects because the New testomony, St. Augustine, Dante, and the second one Vatican Council. rules of heaven and hell, Casey argues, light up how we comprehend the last word nature of sin, justice, punishment, and our conscience itself. The thoughts of everlasting bliss and everlasting punishment express--and test--our rules of excellent and evil. for instance, the traditional Egyptians observed the afterlife as flowing from ma'at, a feeling of being in concord with existence, an idea that comes with fact, order, justice, and the elemental legislations of the universe. "It is an confident view of life," he writes. "It is an ethic that connects knowledge with ethical goodness." probably simply as revealing, Casey unearths, are smooth secular interpretations of heaven and hell, as he probes where of goodness, advantage, and happiness within the age of psychology and clinical investigation.With dependent writing, a magisterial take hold of of an enormous literary and spiritual heritage, and moments of humor and irony, After Lives sheds new gentle at the query of existence, loss of life, and morality in human tradition.

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Additional resources for After Lives: A Guide to Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory

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A god is a ka and so is a pharaoh. When a pharaoh died he went to his ka and so, eventually, did all men. 45 The ka has corporeal aspects (it, too, could partake of the funeral offerings of food, although this could also be done by a statue of the deceased representing his ka), but it is imperishable and in heaven. When a human being died, his soul (ba) went to join his ka, while the body remained lying in the grave. The essential thing is that the ka needed a physical form to inhabit after death.

44 The ka is what makes someone divine. A god is a ka and so is a pharaoh. When a pharaoh died he went to his ka and so, eventually, did all men. 45 The ka has corporeal aspects (it, too, could partake of the funeral offerings of food, although this could also be done by a statue of the deceased representing his ka), but it is imperishable and in heaven. When a human being died, his soul (ba) went to join his ka, while the body remained lying in the grave. The essential thing is that the ka needed a physical form to inhabit after death.

Yet the Egyptians, in the cult of Osiris, and the Greeks and Romans with the mystery religions, came to allow the possibility that there might be personal immortality for many, even all. But the stronger the belief in personal immortality—among the Egyptians, for instance, the Christians, and Muslims—the stronger also became the terror of judgment after death. The Mesopotamian, Greek, and Roman conviction that after death we become shades in a dark underworld may have been pessimistic—but at least it never led to the fear of eternal damnation that weighed so heavily on Jews of the time of Jesus, and on the other two Abrahamic religions.

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