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Death, Religion, and the Family in England,
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Ralph Houlbrooke

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780198208761

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198208761.001.0001

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The Hereafter

The Hereafter

(p.28) 2 The Hereafter
Death, Religion, and the Family in England, 1480–1750

Ralph Houlbrooke

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses religious beliefs concerning the hereafter. Christian beliefs informed and coloured what was written about the life after death by all sorts of literate lay people in media of expression as diverse as poetry, letters, diaries, epitaphs, and preambles to wills. During the Middle Ages new ideas emerged about the location and nature of heavenly space. Medieval schoolmen sought to achieve a synthesis of Christian theology and Aristotelian conceptions of the universe. Late antiquity and the Middle Ages also elaborated the picture of hell as a place of everlasting torment.

Keywords:   afterlife, life after death, Christianity, religious beliefs, purgatory, heaven, hell

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