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Examine Specific Religious Teachings About the Nature of Life After Death

  • Date Submitted: 03/23/2016 02:56 PM
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When discussing beliefs of life after death it is important to clearly distinguish the variety of religious perspectives, most notably that of Christianity, Hinduism and Buddhism. Christianity centres around the idea of resurrection, Hinduism believes in reincarnation whereas Buddhists propose Rebirth with regards to life after death, all of which have their own unique outlook that need to be assesses separately.

Christianity, as previously stated, considers resurrection to be what awaits us after we die, the idea of resurrection originates from the interpretations of Jesus’ followers at the time of his resurrection, furthermore in the New Testament, resurrection is not solely focused on the survival of the soul, but refers to an afterlife; a paradise, whereby you are in a state of continued existence with God, “We will see God face to face” (Paul), or ‘Beatific vision’ which is the final end for humans. before this state however, in what Catholics call purgatory, God will judge people and offer forgiveness for those who repent, allowing them to pass into heaven, or punished with Hell. Although all Christians support this idea, the idea of a resurrected physical state is debated, in Catholicism the physical body is resurrected,   however some protestant believes suggest that only the soul endures, not the body.

Further detail of resurrection comes from John Hick’s Replica theory, whereby humans are a ‘psycho-somatic unity’   with are physical and spiritual aspects being interwoven, not separated in the dualists view. This theory suggests that resurrection is a divine action in which God creates an exact replica of humans in a different place, that would not be seen by us, only God. Hick emphasises the idea of an exact replica in that a resurrected person would be recognised as the original, and that the created copy would appear either instantaneously or after a chosen lapse of time.

Hindus, however, proposes the idea of reincarnation, which is the belief...

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