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After LivesA Guide to Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory$
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John Casey

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195092950

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195092950.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 24 January 2022

After Lives

After Lives

(p.13) 1 After Lives
After Lives

John Casey (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This is a brief survey of beliefs about an after life from the earliest times. No one or two formulae can capture the structure or motives of such beliefs. Many beliefs in a future existence go with extreme pessimism about what form it might take (e.g. the ancient Sumerians, Homeric Greeks). Belief in post‐mortem existence may arise not from hopes individuals have for themselves, but in fear of the continued existence after death of others—as in ghost cultures and animism. The chapter touches very briefly on ideas of Plato, Lucretius, Aquinas, Spinoza, and Nietzsche to suggest that philosophical accounts of belief in survival have no tendency to converge.

Keywords:   ghosts, animism, survival, Plato, Aquinas, Lucretius, Nietzsche

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