Life After Death: The Social Sources Alinean F. Segal

Alan F. Segal

in The Resurrection

Published in print September 1998 | ISBN: 9780198269854
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191600517 | DOI:
 Life After Death: The Social Sources Alinean F. Segal

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The paper sketches the history of expressions of resurrection in biblical thought. Particularly important for the development of the notion of resurrection are Jewish millennialist movements like that which produced Daniel 12, subjected to martyrdom, which in turn serves as a focal point for the discussion of God's mercy and justice. As opposed to the young men in millenarian movements who lose their lives as martyrs in the expectation of bodily restoration at the end of time, Hellenized Jewish intellectuals embraced the Platonic notion of the immortality of the soul in order to express continuity of consciousness after death—a very intellectual hope. The martyrdom context is crucial for understanding the expectation of Jesus’ resurrection among his followers. Although both rabbinic Judaism and early Christianity affirm resurrection strongly, they eventually both subsume cocnepts of immortality of the soul, each in its own way and in stark contradiction to each other.

Keywords: biblical thought; continuity of consciousness; expressions of resurrection; God's justice; God's mercy; Hellenized Jewish intellectuals; immortality of the soul; intellectual hope; Jewish millennialist movements; martyrdom; Platonic notion; Segal

Chapter.  15411 words. 

Subjects: Christian Theology

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