Heaven: Egypt, Mesopotamia, Israel

John Casey

in After Lives

Published in print October 2009 | ISBN: 9780195092950
Published online February 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780199869732 | DOI:
Heaven: Egypt, Mesopotamia, Israel

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This chapter explores the development of ideas of the afterlife amongt the ancient Egyptians, Mesopotamians, and Jews, including accounts of ascents to heaven. The Mesopotamian earthly paradise (“Dilmun”) and its difference from the Jewish paradise is described. The philosophical Judaism of Philo of Alexandria is outlined. There follows discussion of images of heaven in the sayings and parables of Jesus, and in particular the idea that heaven is within us. St. Paul's account of the spiritual, risen body is discussed, and St. John's account of the descent of the heavenly Jerusalem.

Keywords: Egyptian heaven; earthly paradise; Israel; heavenly ascents; Jesus; heaven within; Philo of Alexandria; Jesus' parables; St. Paul; St. John

Chapter.  11604 words. 

Subjects: East Asian Religions

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