By John Casey
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, past due Jewish hopes of resurrection, Christian everlasting salvation, Muslim trust in hell and paradise all spring from a remarkably constant impulse to tether a conquer loss of life to our behavior in life.In After Lives, British student 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 fashionable Mormons. In a full of life, wide-ranging dialogue, he examines such issues 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. principles of heaven and hell, Casey argues, remove darkness from how we comprehend the final word nature of sin, justice, punishment, and our conscience itself. The techniques of everlasting bliss and everlasting punishment express--and test--our rules of excellent and evil. for instance, the traditional Egyptians observed the afterlife as flowing from ma'at, a feeling of being in concord with lifestyles, an idea that incorporates 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." might be simply as revealing, Casey reveals, are smooth 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 clutch of an unlimited literary and non secular historical past, and moments of humor and irony, After Lives sheds new mild at the query of existence, dying, and morality in human tradition.
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Additional resources for After Lives: A Guide to Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory
In the light of that, the pleasures of food and drink—of beer, wine, sweet cakes, the white bread of emmer, haunch, foreleg and rib—are not, in our sense, “material” as opposed to “spiritual” things. The same would apply to sex and human fertility, and indeed to the pleasure of being alive. Osiris brings all these good things to man, and to enjoy them is to partake in a sacrament. To be admitted into the kingdom of Osiris required a good and upright life—a life lived according to ma’at. But ma’at itself implied living in respectful accord with the rhythms, the customs, the laws of Egypt, being thankful for the gifts of the gods, obeying lawful authority that had existed from time immemorial and was of divine sanction.
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. This is beautifully expressed in the Hymn to the Flood: EGYPT 41 there is no-one whose hand weaves with gold, there is nobody who becomes drunk with silver, true lapis-lazuli cannot be eaten; barley is the fundament of all being; when you rise for the hungering town-dwellers, they sate themselves on the produce of the country .
And it was he, whom thou saw, with the pivot of the door . . 18 On the contrary, the proper use of riches is one of the things that marks the character of a good man. 19 EGYPT 29 Visions of happiness that we ﬁnd in these inscriptions include the idea that the good person is happy, but that this happiness implies certain material conditions. There is a picture of contentment in a villa: Its barns are full of grain and bulge with abundance. Fowl yard and aviary with geese; byres ﬁlled with cattle.
After Lives: A Guide to Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory by John Casey