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Flashcards in Death + Afterlife Deck (16)
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Theological ideas about afterlife

are based on the resurrection of Jesus, his kingdom of God teachings and several NT teachings including: the parable of the sheep and the goats - Matthew 25:36-41


Revelation 20-21 (physical)

the vision in Revelation 20-21, depicts a new heaven and earth, where there are no more tears/ sadness and where Gods rule is complete


Origen (physical)

viewed heaven and hell as a restoration of the earth to it's pre fall state, where the whole creation as well as human relationships with God are restored


Aquinas (physical)

suggest that a purified soul is reunited with it's purified body ( ST Pauls version of bodily resurrection 1 Corintheans 15) before it meets God face to face; also known as the beatific vision


Augustine (physical)

thought hell as a permanent and physical place of punishment where Gods justice is seen and the wicked are punished for eternity


Issues with the view that heaven and hell are physical places

philosophical problems - where is this place of embodied existence?
identity - in what sense am I 'me' without the same body
Continuity - if I died and my body has changed (Pauls glorified body), there has been a break in continuity; at what age would I be resurrected


Heaven and hell as spiritual states

in this view, there is no need for a physical body, many understand Jesus' teachings as a referral to a spiritual kingdom


Gregory of Nyssa and Origin (spiritual)

see hell as a state of anguish, your own conscience tortures and regrets and realisation of sinfulness but that it would pass away when the soul was restored


heaven and hell as a spiritual place solves....

the philosophical problem. ie where it is. as no physical location is needed


issues of heaven and hell as spiritual places

identity - how is an immaterial soul, me?


heaven and hell symbolic of life on earth

there is no life after death, the terms heaven, hell and purgatory simply refer to states of morality and experienced during life. Heaven would be the sum total of all happiness and good experienced. Hell is the total of all suffering from the consequence of sinfulness in their life


ethical reading of the sheep and the goats and kingdom of God (symbolic)

interpreted as 'now'. Christian following Jesus' teachings, will bring about the kingdom of God by following his example in helping the needy and marginalised.


D.Z Phillips (symbolic)

eternal life is not a reference to life after death, but the quality of life, lived morally in obedience to God


Symbolic idea of heaven and hell solve....

problems of identity, continuity


Problems with the symbolic idea of heaven and hell

scholars need to reinterpret Jesus' resurrection, Revelation 20-21, Matthew 25 as a myth


John Hick

'the sufferings of the damned in hell.... can never lead to a constructive end'. The idea of infinite suffering for finite sin seems unjust