After Lives: A Guide to Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory
  • After Lives: A Guide to Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory
  • After Lives: A Guide to Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory

After Lives: A Guide to Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory

by John Casey
     
 

One of the most profound, deeply affecting questions we face as human beings is the matter of our mortality—and its connection to immortality. Ancient animist ghost cultures, Egyptian mummification, late Jewish hopes of resurrection, Christian eternal salvation, Muslim belief in hell and paradise all spring from a remarkably consistent impulse to tether a

See more details below

Overview

One of the most profound, deeply affecting questions we face as human beings is the matter of our mortality—and its connection to immortality. Ancient animist ghost cultures, Egyptian mummification, late Jewish hopes of resurrection, Christian eternal salvation, Muslim belief in hell and paradise all spring from a remarkably consistent impulse to tether a triumph over death to our conduct in life.

In After Lives, British scholar John Casey provides a rich historical and philosophical exploration of the world beyond, from the ancient Egyptians to St. Thomas Aquinas, from Martin Luther to modern Mormons. In a lively, wide-ranging discussion, he examines such topics as predestination, purgatory, Spiritualism, the Rapture, Armageddon and current Muslim apocalyptics, as well as the impact of such influences as the New Testament, St. Augustine, Dante, and the Second Vatican Council. Ideas of heaven and hell, Casey argues, illuminate how we understand the ultimate nature of sin, justice, punishment, and our moral sense itself. The concepts of eternal bliss and eternal punishment express—and test—our ideas of good and evil. For example, the ancient Egyptians saw the afterlife as flowing from ma'at, a sense of being in harmony with life, a concept that includes truth, order, justice, and the fundamental law of the universe. "It is an optimistic view of life," he writes. "It is an ethic that connects wisdom with moral goodness." Perhaps just as revealing, Casey finds, are modern secular interpretations of heaven and hell, as he probes the place of goodness, virtue, and happiness in the age of psychology and scientific investigation.

With elegant prose, a magisterial grasp of a vast literary and religious history, and moments of humor and irony, After Lives sheds new light on the question of life, death, and morality in human culture.

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780195092950
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
11/02/2009
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
468
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.40(d)

Related Subjects

Table of Contents

Prologue: Stephen Dedalus's Hell 1

Pt. I Dark Futures

1 After Lives 13

2 Egypt 23

3 Mesopotamia and Israel 43

4 Greece and Rome 65

5 The Christian Beginnings 103

6 Dante: Inferno 147

7 Predestination: Augustine to Calvin and Beyond 167

8 The Decline of Hell 193

Pt. II Purgatory

9 Rome's Happiest Inspiration? 225

Pt. III Heaven

10 Heaven: Egypt, Mesopotamia, Israel 245

11 Bodies Fleshly and Spiritual 269

12 Dante: Paradiso 281

13 Celestial Pleasures: Renaissance and Reformation Heavens 293

14 Heavenly Speculations 321

15 Heaven Seen and Heard: Swedenborg 337

16 With Easy Intercourse Pass To and Fro 357

17 Scoring in Heaven 381

Epilogue 401

Notes 405

Bibliography 441

Index 452\

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >