Christians don’t go to heaven when we die—that’s the dramatic way to summarize N. T. Wright’s book. The Christian hope is that our bodies will be raised on a transformed Earth when Christ returns, not that our souls will be freed of our bodies so that they can get to heaven.
Life after death is not quite a complete history of the afterlife in Western religion. Alan Segal follows the development of beliefs in the afterlife in Christianity down to Augustine and in Judaism through the rabbinic period. Only in the case of Islam does he comment briefly on contemporary beliefs.
The essays in this anthology are loosely linked around the topic of death and afterlife, but there is no dialogue between the various points of view presented. The editor notes that there is a gap “between the philosophers . . .
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