Access to Eden and the Hope for Immortality

Peter Thacher Lanfer

in Remembering Eden

Published in print August 2012 | ISBN: 9780199926749
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199950591 | DOI:
Access to Eden and the Hope for Immortality

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This chapter examines the diversity of expectations concerning the hope for immortality present in the expulsion narrative. Despite contrasting expectations for astral-immortality, soul-immortality, or bodily resurrection, the hope for immortality is often articulated using the symbolic capital of the expulsion narrative. This chapter discusses expectations that adhere closely to the expulsion narrative, including the removal of the sword of the cherubim, the “opening” of gates, and the reacquisition of beatific life in Eden. However, this chapter also considers motifs for resurrection and immortality, such as the revivification of dust, “the Way” to life, and angelic participation, which employ the symbolic capital of the expulsion narrative mediated by the influence of images of mortality in Job, Isaiah, and Ezekiel.

Keywords: immortality; loss of Eden; access; Cherubim; Paradise; resurrection; divine court; judgment; angelic participation; messianic entry; martyrdom; opening of Eden; dust to life

Chapter.  12769 words. 

Subjects: Early Christianity

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