Article

Heaven and Hell

Jonathan L. Kvanvig

in Philosophy

ISBN: 9780195396577
Published online May 2010 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780195396577-0050
Heaven and Hell

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The Western doctrines of heaven and hell have their source in religions of the Abrahamic tradition, involving a conception of an afterlife together with a doctrine of the resurrection of the body. This entry focuses on the philosophical discussions surrounding these doctrines as they occur in Christianity, since it is in this context that the explosion of interest in these doctrines has arisen over the past few decades. The fundamental controversies in this recent explosion concern the debates (1) between the new Christian materialists and their immaterialist opponents; (2) between traditional and nontraditional approaches to the nature of hell, especially on the question of whether universalism (the view that no one ends up in hell forever) or annihilationism (the view that the damned cease to exist) can do a better job of solving the moral problems for traditional views of hell (especially, the problems of how a loving God can be so harsh and how a finite being can do something that deserves an infinite punishment); and (3) between the commonplace view that immortality is a good to be desired and opponents who question the wisdom of this common platitude.

Article.  4372 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art ; Epistemology ; Feminist Philosophy ; History of Western Philosophy ; Metaphysics ; Moral Philosophy ; Non-Western Philosophy ; Philosophy of Language ; Philosophy of Law ; Philosophy of Mathematics and Logic ; Philosophy of Mind ; Philosophy of Religion ; Philosophy of Science ; Social and Political Philosophy

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