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

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. historical 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 loss of life to our behavior in life.In After Lives, British pupil John Casey presents a wealthy old and philosophical exploration of the realm 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 impression of such affects because the New testomony, St. Augustine, Dante, and the second one Vatican Council. rules of heaven and hell, Casey argues, remove darkness from how we comprehend the last word nature of sin, justice, punishment, and our conscience itself. The innovations of everlasting bliss and everlasting punishment express--and test--our principles of fine 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 basic legislation of the universe. "It is an confident view of life," he writes. "It is an ethic that connects knowledge with ethical goodness." maybe simply as revealing, Casey reveals, are glossy secular interpretations of heaven and hell, as he probes where of goodness, advantage, and happiness within the age of psychology and medical investigation.With based writing, a magisterial snatch of an enormous literary and non secular background, and moments of humor and irony, After Lives sheds new mild at the query of existence, demise, and morality in human tradition.

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The sun dies each night and is reborn each morning. This was another threat of chaos; and the sun was supported in its orderly progress across the sky by religious cult. 85 Egyptian religion and ethics both spring from the actual conditions of the land, express themselves in myths that describe that condition, issue in rites that are meant to help in preventing the ever-possible collapse into chaos, and root themselves in this understanding and these hopes and fears. 86 The inundation itself is a reenactment of creation and a reminder of one of the basic requirements of ma’at—justice between man and man.

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. There is the opposition between a cyclical eternal movement of stars, planets, crops, and seasons, set against the uniqueness of an individual life. Osiris lives, is murdered, is reborn. The inundation covers the land of Egypt; its waters recede, crops spring up, the land is magically restored more fresh than it was before.

The “negative confessions” deny pretty obvious and central transgressions, and they never suggest the doctrine of total human depravity that we find in some central Christian traditions.

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