John Casey

in After Lives

Published in print October 2009 | ISBN: 9780195092950
Published online February 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780199869732 | DOI:

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The ancient Egyptians were the first culture that we know of systematically to correlate an afterlife with good and evil actions in this world. Far from being obsessed with death, the Egyptians were above all lovers of life. Their ideas about post‐mortem survival affirmed the value of life in this world. Their joyous feeling for a bounteous land teeming with fertility carried over into a hope for resurrection—entailing mummification—that lacks the pessimism of many earlier cultures. The evolution of belief in Osiris as judge of the dead, from the early Pyramid texts to the Book of the Dead, both enforces fear of post‐mortem judgment and seems to open the possibility of resurrection to all, and not only to Pharaoh and his immediate circle.

Keywords: Egypt; judgment; vitality; tombs; mummification; Book of the Dead; resurrection; Pyramid Texts; Osiris

Chapter.  9625 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: East Asian Religions

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