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

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By John Casey

Essentially the most profound, deeply affecting questions we are facing as people is the problem of our mortality--and its connection to immorality. old animist ghost cultures, Egyptian mummification, overdue Jewish hopes of resurrection, Christian everlasting salvation, Muslim trust in hell and paradise all spring from a remarkably constant impulse to tether a overcome dying to our behavior in life.In After Lives, British student John Casey offers 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 impacts because the New testomony, St. Augustine, Dante, and the second one Vatican Council. principles of heaven and hell, Casey argues, remove darkness from how we comprehend the final word nature of sin, justice, punishment, and our judgment of right and wrong itself. The recommendations of everlasting bliss and everlasting punishment express--and test--our principles 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 incorporates fact, order, justice, and the basic legislations of the universe. "It is an positive view of life," he writes. "It is an ethic that connects knowledge with ethical goodness." maybe simply as revealing, Casey unearths, are sleek secular interpretations of heaven and hell, as he probes where of goodness, advantage, and happiness within the age of psychology and medical investigation.With stylish writing, a magisterial grab of an unlimited literary and non secular heritage, and moments of humor and irony, After Lives sheds new gentle at the query of existence, dying, and morality in human tradition.

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Even where ancient peoples entertain the idea of postmortem judgment, they do not (with the exception of the Egyptians) seem to be preoccupied with it. If the Homeric Greeks saw even the greatest of heroes, Achilles, as destined to a melancholy existence as a shade casting “a longing, lingering look behind” at the world he has lost, they did not in general fear an eternity squashed into a stinking sewer of rotten guts, burning in a huge mound of bodies, overcome by an intolerable stench, and tormented by devils so hideous to behold that St.

Deliver his soul, O Lord”). A ritual is something between a spell and a personal prayer; it is assumed to have power, but at the same time it expresses both hope and fear. The dangers threatening the departed as they made their way to the halls of Osiris are depicted in such vivid detail that it is very hard to think that they were thought of complacently: the dead might be burned in a pond of fire, cooked or roasted and then devoured by demons, decapitated by baboons, mutilated, have their hearts torn out, lassoed and dragged to the slaughtering block, or seized by demonic pigs, snakes, crocodiles, dogs.

Exult in joy, unite with happiness, summer-lotus at your nose, myrrh-oil on your brow! . . . receive the lotus that comes from your garden . . 88 Grieving does not prolong life: Follow thy desire, as long as thou shalt live. Put myrrh upon thy head and clothing of fine linen upon thee . . Set an increase to thy good things . . Until there come after thee that day of mourning . . . 89 Egyptian beliefs about the afterlife are fully integrated into their total picture of the universe, of a world where order is constantly menaced by chaos, but in which what opposes order also brings vitality.

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