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After Lives: A Guide to Heaven, Hell and Purgatory

John Casey

After Lives: A Guide to Heaven, Hell and Purgatory

John Casey

$44.99

Paperback
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.

- Publisher

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

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.

- Publisher

Meet the Author

John Casey

John Casey was born in 1939 in Worcester, Massachusetts. Educated at Harvard College, Harvard Law School, and the University of Iowa, Casey is a Professor of English at the University of Virginia. Casey's novel Spartina, a classic tale of a man, a boat, and a storm, won the National Book Award in 1989. In his second novel, The Half-life of Happiness, published in March 1998, Casey takes the reader on a journey to Charlottesville, where a successful forty-something lawyer has to deal with the breakup of his marriage amidst a run for a seat in Congress. Casey lives in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Table Of Contents

  • Part 1: Dark Futures ; Prologue: Stephen Dedalus's Hell ; Chapter One: After Lives ; Chapter Two: Egypt ; Chapter Three: Mesopotamia And Israel ; Chapter Four: Greece And Rome ; Chapter Five: The Christian Beginnings ; Chapter Six: Dante: Inferno ; Chapter Seven: Predestination: Augustine To Calvin And Beyond ; Chapter Eight: The Decline Of Hell ; Part Ii: Purgatory ; Chapter Nine: Rome's Happiest Inspiration? ; Heaven ; Chapter Ten: Heaven: Egypt, Mesopotamia, Israel ; Chapter Eleven: Bodies Fleshly And Spiritual ; Chapter Twelve: Dante: Paradiso ; Chapter Thirteen: Celestial Pleasures: Renaissance And ; Reformation Heavens ; Chapter Fourteen: Heavenly Speculations ; Chapter Fifteen: Heaven Seen And Heard: Swedenborg ; Chapter Sixteen: With Easy Intercourse Pass To And Fro ; Chapter Seventeen: Scoring In Heaven ; Index

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Product Details

Product Details
  • Catalogue Code 381138
  • Product Code 9780199975037
  • ISBN 0199975035
  • EAN 9780199975037
  • Pages 468
  • Department Academic
  • Category World Religions
  • Sub-Category General
  • Publisher Oxford University Press
  • Publication Date Mar 2013
  • Dimensions 231 x 154 x 33 mm
  • Weight 0.628kg

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