A magisterial paintings of social historical past, Life After Death illuminates the various other ways old civilizations grappled with the query of what precisely occurs to us when we die.
In a masterful exploration of the way Western civilizations have outlined the afterlife, Alan F. Segal weaves jointly biblical and literary scholarship, sociology, heritage, and philosophy. A well known student, Segal examines the maps of the afterlife present in Western non secular texts and divulges not just what numerous cultures believed yet how their notions mirrored their societies’ realities and beliefs, and why these ideals replaced over the years. He continues that the afterlife is the reflect within which a society arranges its notion of the self. The composition strategy for Judaism, Christianity, and Islam begins in grief and leads to the victory of the self over death.
Arguing that during each non secular culture the afterlife represents the last word gift for the nice, Segal combines old and anthropological facts with insights gleaned from non secular and philosophical writings to provide an explanation for the next mysteries: why the Egyptians insisted on an afterlife in heaven, whereas the physique used to be embalmed in a tomb in the world; why the Babylonians considered the lifeless as residing in underground prisons; why the Hebrews remained silent approximately existence after demise through the interval of the 1st Temple, but embraced it in the second one Temple interval (534 B.C.E. –70 C.E.); and why Christianity put the afterlife within the middle of its trust approach. He discusses the interior dialogues and arguments inside of Judaism and Christianity, displaying the underlying dynamic in the back of them, in addition to the guidelines that mark the diversities among the 2 religions. In a considerate exam of the impression of biblical perspectives of heaven and martyrdom on Islamic ideals, he deals a desirable point of view at the present troubling upward thrust of Islamic fundamentalism.
In tracing the natural, historic relationships among sacred texts and groups of trust and evaluating the visions of lifestyles after dying that experience emerged all through background, Segal sheds a brilliant, revealing mild at the intimate connections among notions of the afterlife, the societies that produced them, and the individual’s look for the final word which means of existence on the earth.