Life After Death

Notes on Life After Death - WJEC

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Bible Quotes


  • 1 - raised a spiritual body
  • 1 C. 4:5 - everyone will receive their commendation from God

Luke 23:43 - Jesus' death on the cross implies immediate entry into Heaven

2 Maccabees 12:46 - absolvement of sin (purgatory)

1 Peter 3:18 - Jesus died for our sins --> everyone goes to Heaven


  • 13: 41, 50 - Hell will also punish those who reject Christ
  • 24 - Story of the Fig Tree --> Rapture/Tribulations

Daniel 9:24-7 -  7 year period of suffering


  • 9 + 11 - 3 woes
  • Apostle John's teachings (importance of millennium) 
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The Soul
It is necessary to have an understanding of the soul in order to fully understand beliefs on life after death

Dualism. Body and soul are separate. The soul is the charioteer of the mind and body. Christian teachings greatly influenced. After death, there is no bodily existence, the soul goes on to the afterlife - Life After Death: Body, Soul + Personal Identity

Teachings influenced by Aristotle --> soul is capable of being separate from the body after death, however in life the two are united - Monist
--> reinforced Christian view that the soul after death goes into the afterlife where it is judged by God


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John Hick


Replica Theory

  • earthly lives are a 'vale of soul-making' --> testing ground so that we can develop into moral people  through God's gift of free will
  • all souls need a body to continue into the afterlife in which there is a physical rebirth
  • God creates a replica of the deceased in the idealised state
  • this occurs somewhere not spatially related to Earth
  • H/E is all eschatalogical verification
  • Life After Death: Body, Soul + Personal Identity
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1 Corinthians - Jesus raised a spiritual body, only once Christ has come again

This looks at the main belief within Christianity; Jesus was resurrected representing that there is an eternal life with God

H.H.Price - Dreamworld

Afterlife may involve disembodied existence, a Dreamworld, which is developed from mental images that survived death.
This is another world in the sense of consciousness
H/E: this does not demonstrate who would experience this, only an implication that everyone would 

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Luke 23:43 - Jesus' death on the cross implies immediate entry into Heaven

The main Christian belief about Heaven involves that of Judgement Day
--> 1 Corinthians 4:5  everyone will receive commendation from God

Heaven is where all morally good souls go to have an eternal life with God
--> 1 Peter 3:18 - Jesus died for our sins and so everyone goes to Heaven; this does align with the belief of an omnibenevolent God

Catholics believe that the deceased first go to Purgatory in order to have their souls cleansed ready for Heaven
H/E only support for this is 2 Maccabees 12:46, comments on absolvement of sin 

Pascal's Wager

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Hell, Rapture + Tribulations

Hell - eternal punishment/suffering, place of the unsaved 
H/E this contradicts with the view that God saves all, hence there would be no punishment

Matthew 13: 41, 50 - Hell will also punish those who reject Christ

Rapture - there are various beliefs on whether these are literal events or not and when they will occur
Matthew 24 - Story of The Fig Tree

Tribulations - again different views on when these will happen and what they will be
Daniel 9:24 -7 - there will be a 7 year period
Revelations 9 + 11 - comments that there will be 3 woes

These are all traditional beliefs, whereas Catholics, Protestants and Orthodox Christians believe that they have always been taking place

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These all share the view that there is importance surrounded around the Millennium, views which are based mainly on Apostle John's teaching in Revelations.
It ties in with NRM's ideas of salvation, hence why many begin around the time of the millennium, as they believe this is when salvation will happen.
This is also why they are shortlived. 

Three main NRM's with views on Salvation:

  • Jehovah's Witnesses
  • People's Temple
  • Branch Davidians
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Jehovah's Witnesses

  • Main belief is that of salvation + who will be saved
    --> around 144,000 will be saved, most which are already in Heaven (Watch Tower)
  • This view is based on John Calvin's teachings of 'The Elect' - various people predestined to be saved
  • It only once they have repented their sins and turned to Jehovah that they can be saved
    After this, they will be be resurrected in Heaven 
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People's Temple

  • Founded in 1955 by Jim Jones; World Rejecting NRM (Roy Wallis Typology)
  • Aimed to create a utopia - a Heaven on Earth
  • Followed in many traditional Christian beliefs
  • Jones promoted that salvation would come when members believed there was a state of divine socialism on Earth
  • Jones built Jonestown and moved all members there in order to protect them from the terrors of the outside world
  • H/E Jones hastened salvation through a mass suicide in 1974
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Branch Davidians

  • World rejecting
  • Followed in traditional Christian beliefs, and centred around the idea of salvation/judgement, but in death, the just will be saved
  • Different views were promoted about salvation
    - just and unjust would be resurrected, but at Christ's 2nd Coming
  • Christ would judge the deceased souls as the death of Christ only brought salvation to those dead prior to 32BC
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In order to accurately explore religious teachings, Buddhism will also be outlined. 

  • No belief in the soul
    - there are H/E various different branches of Buddhism, and they do not al share in the same traditions or views 
  • There is the universal view that atman/soul is an illusion
  • Strong belief in karma + cycle of rebirth
  • Depending on good/bad karma gained throughout the present life, this will determine a persons next life
  • This cycle, Samsara, continues until Nirvana is reached which is the liberation of all earthly suffering and the ultimate goal for most Buddhists; also referred to as Enlightenment
  • This means that Samsara has then ended and the person is no longer reborn
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Alex Lowry





yes Alex!! we can!!!

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