The Afterlife

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The Afterlife – A/Greek Vs. Christian Beliefs Essay, Research Paper Any concept as vital and complex as the afterlife is sure to have been the basis of the beliefs of countless people through the ages. Regardless of race or nationality, religion or moral standing, the afterlife has remained a predominant issue in the beliefs of people around the world since the dawn of time. As religions become more intricate and involved, different myths emerged and events occurred that shaped the specifics of the afterlife for each different religion. Ancient Greek religion and modern day Christianity are extremely different many respects, however the afterlife and the basic concepts that are associated with it remain the same for both of these religions. Good morning Ms. Griffiths and

class. The basic beliefs and principles surrounding both Ancient Greek and modern Christian religions entail similar concepts, and are formulated around the same ideas. However, there are some very clear distinctions that separate the two. In some ways, concepts originating from Ancient Greece are more prevalent then those derived from actual Christian texts, are incorporated into a general idea of the afterlife as held by many Christians. There are some major variations in the religious beliefs of the ancient Greeks and modern Christians, and indeed there are a large number of inconsistencies within both religions themselves. The similarities of both religions concerning the afterlife, particularly the immortality of the soul, indicates that the foundations of both religions are

essentially the same. Greek religion is polytheistic, that is, there is a belief in more then one God. In Christianity there is a belief in one God. The Ancient Greeks used mythology to precisely describe the afterlife. Later, Greek philosophers such as Socrates, disagreed with the mythological image of the Gods, and attempted to use philosophy to describe life, death and all that may lie beyond. Christianity is a lot less specific, and views on the afterlife have been vaguely interpreted from the Bible, as visions experienced by people throughout the ages, and also from the teachings of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and saviour of mankind in Christian religions. The Bibles description of life after death has been interpreted in countless different ways, and there are many

different denominations of the Christian religion that have emerged due to this. Within Christian religions and ancient Greek religion, there is a definite belief in the existence of the soul and its immortality. It has thus far been proven impossible in either religion to clearly define what the ?soul? actually is. The Ancient Greek philosophers referred to the soul as the ?psyche?, a word that means ?life force?, ?mind? and ?breathe?. The soul, essentially, is the essence of man. The invisible substance that exists with the body but can be conceived to be separate. In both religions, the immortality of the soul is the basis of belief in the afterlife. Both religions have varying ideas of the nature of the soul and its purpose. In Ancient Greek religion, mythological views of

the afterlife existed, and also the ?doctrine of metempsychosis ? or transmigration of the soul?. Basically, the mythological view of the soul involved what was described as a ?shade? by Homer, being released from the body upon death, and entering the afterlife. This ?shade? was the soul of the person, and the afterlife was described as an actual place beneath the earth, where the soul lived eternally. The theory put forward by later philosophers, such as Plato and Socrates, involved concepts such as reincarnation and a cyclical approach to the soul?s immortality. In ?The Phaedrus?, a book describing the philosophies of Plato, it is written: ? All souls are immortal, for that which is ever in motion is immortal?it is only that which moves itself that never intermits its motion,