GCSE Religious Studies Edexcel Matters of Life and Death

A complete set of notes in the form of power point for the topic Matters of life and death, covering christian attitudes to life after death, muslim attitudes to life after death, non religious views on life after death. christian and muslim attitudes to euthanasia, Facts about UK abortion law, Christian and Muslim attitude to abortion.

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Christian attitudes to life after death 1
Resurrection: the belief that after death the body stays in the grave until the last day of judgement,
when it is raised and given an immortal body.
A common believe among Evangelical Christians is that when the body dies the soul stays in the
grave. Then on the last day of the world Jesus will return to earth for a second time and the dead
will be raised (resurrected.) Everyone will appear before God for the final judgement based on
their believes and life on earth. Good Christians who have repented for their sins will go to heaven
for eternity. Everyone else will go to hell for eternity.
Why?
· Jesus rose from the dead with a new resurrection body given to him by God that was different
from his earthly body i.e. it could pass through locked doors
· In St Paul's 1 Corinthians 15 it teaches that people will be resurrected like Jesus
· John the divine teaches in Revelation that at the end of the world everyone will be brought before
God and judged
· The creeds say that Christians should believe in resurrection and Jesus will come again to judge
the living and the dead

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Christian attitudes to life after death 2
Immortality of the soul: the believe that after death the soul leaves the body and goes to a spiritual
place where God is.
Many Protestants believe that immediately after the body dies, the soul will go before God to be
judged and live on in spiritual place. Good Christians souls who have repented will go to heaven
for eternity and bad Christian soul's and non Christian soul's will go to hell for eternity. Some of
these Christians however do not believe in hell but believe there will be a life after death for
everyone and what this life will be like is determined by their behaviour on earth.
Why?
· Jesus told the thief crucified with him that he would go straight to heaven "I tell you the truth today
you will be with me in Paradise" Luke 23:42-3
· The evidence of the paranormal (things like ghosts, mediums) suggest immortality of the soul
· The believe in the communion of the saints (there can be communication between living and dead
Christians)
· After his resurrection, Jesus became a spirit and went to the spirit world.

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Christian attitudes to life after death 3
Catholics believe in both resurrection and immortality. They believe that at death the souls of those
who have not sinned since they last repented will go to heaven, the souls of Christians who have
sinned will go to purgatory and be cleansed, the souls of those who refuse to believe in god or
who have committed mortal sins (a deliberate very evil act) will go to hell. Revelation" Then I saw
a new heaven and a new earth"
Why are there different attitudes to what happens after death in Christianity?
· The bible is the base for Christian believes but the bible is not clear in some passages it suggests
immortality of the soul and in others it suggests resurrections, it some sections it says only good
Christians will go to heaven while in some it says all good people will go to heaven
· Christianity now puts a lot of emphasis on God and loving one's neighbour. Therefore they cannot
believe a kind, forgiving god will send people to hell forever.
· Living in a multi-faith society has given Christians the chance to see good Muslims, Jews, Hindus,
Sikhs and Buddhists leading holy lives.
· Much more information and interest in the paranormal (eg ghosts and mediums) has made
immortality of the soul seem more believable.

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Why do Christians believe in life after death?
1. All four gospels record that Jesus was crucified and then resurrected on
Easter Sunday. There are many references in the new testament to his
resurrection appearance, clearly if Jesus rose from the dead then there is
life after death
2. The major creeds of the church teaches that Jesus rose from the dead and
there will be life after death
3. All Christian churches believe in life after death
4. If gives their life meaning and purpose, something to look to after death. It
is reassuring that the good will be rewarded in paradise and the evil will be
punished in hell because in this life on earth the evil sometimes have a
better life than the good.
5. Some Christians believe in life after death because of the evidence of the
Paranormal

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Non religious reasons for believing in life after death
· 1) Near death experiences: when people have near death experiences
they frequently report a feeling of floating above the body or seeing a bright
light at the end of a tunnel. Sam Parnia of Southampton general clinic found
that 4 out of 63 patients who had heart attacks had near death experiences.
· 2) Evidence of a spirit world: Ghosts or ouija boards may provide
evidence suggesting that our souls live on after death. Medium's claim to be
able to contact the spirit world. Doris stokes was a famous medium who
many people thought could contact the dead.
· 3) There are many stories in India of evidence of reincarnation. Hindus,
Sikhs and Buddhists all believe in reincarnations. The baby born with a tail
was thought to be a reincarnation on an Hindu God.

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