Manual Life After Death: A History of the Afterlife in Western Religion

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Is There Life After Death? Jewish Thinking on the Afterlife

Segal understands Paul as part of Jewish history; he interprets Paul's conversion as an apostasy and a break from Judaism because of his insistence on transformation in Christ, [1] : although Paul never perceived his actions as outside the Jewish community Acts Paul, Segal argues, never felt that he had left Judaism, "He began as a Pharisee and became a convert from Pharisaism.

He spent the rest of his life trying to express what he converted to. He never gave it a single name. Segal was a frequent media commentator on St. Paul [4] [5] and other issues to deal with early Christianity and Judaism.

Edited by William J. Wainwright

During September , Segal became part of the controversial tenure battle concerning Barnard anthropology professor Nadia Abu El Haj. Segal, who was opposed to Abu El Haj's tenure bid, told The New York Times that "there is every reason in the world to want her to have tenure, and only one reason against it — her work, I believe it is not good enough.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For persons of a similar name, see Alan Segal. Hew Haven: Yale University Press. Segal Remembered".

Barnard College. Segal, 65, of Ho-Ho-Kus". The Record. By Alan F. Segal -immortality resurrection Paul apostles Jesus founder Christian - Beliefnet. About half of the widows and widowers in America and Britain believe that they have felt the presence of their deceased spouse A. In addition to reporting a sense of familiarity with the departed, contemporary people contacted in surveys describe other very specific beliefs about what happens after death.

In Europe, the number of people who believe in reincarnation is almost as large - around 22 percent, or just over one out of five persons E. Given the Christian heritage of Europeans and Americans, these are interesting statistics. We can speculate about whether this demographic situation is due to the persistence of pre-Christian beliefs or to the influence of Asian religions or is simply a matter of thoughtful persons coming up with a full range of possibilities. It appears that belief in life after death has salubrious results for a person's mental health. A study of 1, adult Americans asked to report on their beliefs and their mental health found that a person who anticipated living on after death is likely to experience less anxiety, depression, obsession-compulsion, paranoia, phobia, and somatization Kevin Flannelly et al.

For some people, death is not as much of a preoccupation as it may have been for their ancestors.

Contemporary medical practices and medications, combined with better nutritional practices and higher safety standards than in centuries past, have led to longer life spans for many people in the developed world, who now tend to spend as much time wondering how to save for retirement as thinking about matters of death and postmortem existence. Modernity has also brought skepticism. Many people cannot accept the postmortem scenarios they were taught as children.

Fewer Americans Believe in God — Yet They Still Believe in Afterlife

However, atheists and religious humanists who stand outside conventional religious traditions suggest that one can believe in life after death without relying on traditional religious beliefs. In his recent book The Atheist Afterlife, David Staume calls for us to think about an afterlife based on reason, imagining a postmortem existence without the usual concepts of presiding deity, judgment, reward, and punishment The Atheist Afterlife: The Odds of an Afterlife: Reasonable; The Odds of Meeting God There: Nil.

  • How the Major Religions View the Afterlife |
  • Digital Video Solutions.
  • George Berkeley Alciphron in Focus (Routledge Philosophers in Focus Series).
  • Dharma World Buddhist magazine.

Staume compares the afterlife with dreaming: using simple analogies like that of the dream state, he seeks to remove the concept of the afterlife from its religious context. The question of what happens after death has traditionally been regarded as a philosophical or religious one. In recent years, however, scientists have shown interest in this avenue of inquiry.

Afterlife | religion |

Religious scenarios about life after death have received scrutiny from scientific quarters in recent years, with scientists bringing their methods to bear on questions about what happens to the brain during clinical death and whether consciousness persists after death. In cases of clinical death, reports by people who have been resuscitated occasionally claim that when their hearts stopped beating, they experienced the world from outside their bodies and were able to observe medical personnel trying to revive them, along with having other experiences such as seeing light, feeling themselves move through space, and interacting with deceased loved ones.

Between 4 percent and 18 percent of those resuscitated after a cardiac arrest report having near-death experiences Daniel Williams, "At the Hour of Our Death," Time International, September 10, Culture appears to make a difference in the type of near-death experiences that are common in different locales. Researchers have found, for example, that it is more common for Japanese people to see rivers and ponds than tunnels during near-death experiences Ornella Corazza and K. Sam Parnia and colleagues have conducted promising studies of patients undergoing cardiac arrest in hospitals.

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  6. Seeking evidence that the visions of those with near-death experiences can be confirmed with empirically verifiable data, investigators in Parnia's team placed signs in hospital emergency rooms and cardiac units, signs that faced the ceiling, where only patients who are having an out-of-body experience would be able to see them. Patients who reported having had out-of-body experiences during cardiac arrest were asked to identify whether they saw the signs and what information the signs contained.


    Studies like this are designed to counter the widespread belief in the medical field that what we experience at moments of cardiac arrest are just subjective experiences or hallucinations that do not correspond to any entities in the objective world. According to the prevailing model of consciousness, these hallucinations are the result of a flood of chemicals in the brain and do not correspond to any transcendent reality.

    But those who believe in life after death suggest that this is not the only way to understand these phenomena. Philosophers like Richard Swinburne argue that while one's experiences and mental life may be caused by chemical reactions in the brain, these thoughts, ideas, and experiences are not just epiphenomenal. Careful readers, however, will take the trouble and the time to pore over this impressive contribution to our understanding of human belief and behavior.

    View Full Version of PW. Segal, Author. More By and About This Author. Buy this book. Zeebra Books.