Almost every religious mythology contains the primordial motif of death and rebirth and portrays the posthumous journey of the deceased following death. Myths of the afterlife exist in all cultures, including that of the ancient Greeks and Egyptians, Babylonians, Romans and Celts and continue to manifest in living faiths such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Although human consciousness has evolved over time, the mystery of death remains beyond rational perception and gives rise to feelings of anxiety and uncertainty. Inquiring whether death may be a transition to rebirth requires looking back into the universal language of myth, which symbolizes the germ of life existing in an afterlife state. As will be shown, this ancient model of the otherworldly journey and resurrection continues to appear in the near-death experience.
In The CLassics and Children's Literature between West and East a team of contributors from different continents offers a survey of the reception of Classical Antiquity in children’s and young adults’ literature by applying regional perspectives.
Author: Michael Martin
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
Release Date: 2015-03-12
Because every single one of us will die, most of us would like to know what—if anything—awaits us afterward, not to mention the fate of lost loved ones. Given the nearly universal vested interest in deciding this question in favor of an afterlife, it is no surprise that the vast majority of books on the topic affirm the reality of life after death without a backward glance. But the evidence of our senses and the ever-gaining strength of scientific evidence strongly suggest otherwise. In The Myth of an Afterlife: The Case against Life after Death, Michael Martin and Keith Augustine collect a series of contributions that redress this imbalance in the literature by providing a strong, comprehensive, and up-to-date casebook of the chief arguments against an afterlife. Divided into four separate sections, this collection opens with a broad overview of the issues, as contributors consider the strongest evidence of whether or not we survive death—in particular the biological basis of all mental states and their grounding in brain activity that ceases to function at death. Next, contributors consider a host of conceptual and empirical difficulties that confront the various ways of “surviving” death—from bodiless minds to bodily resurrection to any form of posthumous survival. Then essayists turn to internal inconsistencies between traditional theological conceptions of an afterlife—heaven, hell, karmic rebirth—and widely held ethical principles central to the belief systems supporting those notions. In the final section, authors offer critical evaluations of the main types of evidence for an afterlife. Fully interdisciplinary, The Myth of an Afterlife: The Case against Life after Death brings together a variety of fields of research to make that case, including cognitive neuroscience, philosophy of mind, personal identity, philosophy of religion, moral philosophy, psychical research, and anomalistic psychology. As the definitive casebook of arguments against life after death, this collection is required reading for any instructor, researcher, and student of philosophy, religious studies, or theology. It is sure to raise provocative issues new to readers, regardless of background, from those who believe fervently in the reality of an afterlife to those who do not or are undecided on the matter.
The notion of an infernal place of punishment for 'undesired' elements in human culture and human nature has a long history both as religious idea and as cultural metaphor. This book brings together a wide array of scholars who examine hell as an idea within the Christian tradition and its 'afterlife' in historical and contemporary imagination. Leading scholars grapple with the construction and meaning of hell in the past and investigate its modern utility as a means to describe what is perceived as horrific or undesirable in modern culture. While the idea of an infernal region of punishment was largely developed in the context of early Jewish and Christian religious culture, it remains a central belief for some Christians in the modern world. Hell's reception (its 'afterlife') in the modern world has extended hell's meaning beyond the religious realm; hell has become a pervasive image and metaphor in political rhetoric, in popular culture, and in the media. Bringing together scholars from a variety of fields to contribute to a wider understanding of this fascinating and important cultural idea, this book will appeal to readers from historical, religious, literary and cultural perspectives.
Chinese folk religion is the underlying belief system of more than a billion people. Wherever there is a Chinese community there are temples and shrines with altars, statues and paper images. But how do these beliefs connect to Taoism, Confucianism and Buddhism? This book explains the building blocks of this religion, touching upon anthropology, history, numerology, feng shui, mythology, nature cults and ancestor worship. Includes colour images of the major gods of the Chinese pantheon.
Poor Penny Lanethe afterlife just isnt getting any easier. She has barely had time to recover from her grueling life lesson (let alone her own murder) and a brutal course in mortal mapping. She now finds herself thrown unexpectedly into her craziest mission yet. The aliens are at it again, fighting a civil war that threatens to tear their society apartas surely as the tremors, fires, and other instigated disasters menace their separate afterlife world. Fortunately, Roy, the cowboy archangel, has a plan. He has gathered a select army of humans, aliens, and angels to bring peace to this embattled world. They seek to settle the dispute between the warrior aliens and their weaker counterparts and to subdue the powers of their tyrant leaders. Along with every friend she has made since her murder, Penny is reunited with her ghost retrieval team, including the handsome and charismatic Avery and the groovy archangel, Eric, for a mission that is equal parts unique and dangerous. The humans and angels are forced to venture out across a mysterious and unpredictable landscapethe once-experimental and ancient plane of existence of the Titans and Olympians. In Ancient Gods and the Angel Caf, Penny Lanes chaotic yet hope-filled journey continues, and this time, she is sharing her epic adventure with all of her favorite fellow adventurers.
The books in this bite-sized new series contain no complicated techniques or tricky materials, making them ideal for the busy, the time-pressured or the merely curious. Existentialism Made Easy is a short, simple and to-the-point guide to existentialism. In just 96 pages, the reader will discover all the key ideas, from altruism to utilitarianism. Ideal for the busy, the time-pressured or the merely curious, Existentialism Made Easy is a quick, no-effort way to break into this fascinating topic.
This wonderful book brings together eight or ten captivating stories from India. The stories are simply told, whilst retaining the flavor of the original myths, and are superbly illustrated by artists specially commissioned to portray key visual features from the culture the story originated in. The stories are set in context by the use of colored panels throughout the text, highlighting further information about the characters, settings, or historical context.
Author: Jane Spencer
Publisher: Oxford University Press on Demand
Release Date: 2000
Genre: Literary Criticism
Aphra Behn, now becoming recognized as a major Restoration figure, is especially significant as an early example of a successful professional woman writer: an important and often troubling role-model for later generations of women. This book shows that her influence on eighteenth-centuryliterature was far-reaching. Because literary history was (and to an extent still is) based on notions of patrilineal succession, it has been difficult to recognize the generative work of women's texts among male writers. This book suggests that Behn had 'sons' as well as 'daughters' and argues thatwe need a feminist revision of the notion of literary influence. Behn's reputation was very different in different genres. The book analyses her reception as a poet, a novelist, and a dramatist, showing how reactions to her became an important part of the creation of the English literarycanon.
Author: James R. Lewis
Publisher: Gale Group
Release Date: 1994
This guide addresses questions on phenomena that have endured since the dawn of humankind, and reports recent trends such as the increases in near death experiences due to the use of defibrillators. Readers can explore beliefs pertaining to life after death that have developed in every culture, religion, philosophy and psychic dimension. Nearly 250 entries, presented in an A-Z order, provide biographies, definitions, theories and cultural and religious belief systems.
The Myths of the World series explores the mythology of some of history's greatest civilizations. Each book opens with a brief look at the culture that created the myths, including its geographical setting, political history, government, society, and religious beliefs. Next come the stories themselves. Each one of the half dozen or so myths per title has been retold by critically acclaimed author Virginia Schomp. Based on a variety of traditional sources, the new versions are fun and easy to read. At the same time, they remain true to the spirit of the ancient tales, preserving their magic, their mystery, and the special ways of speech and avenues of thought that made each culture unique.