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By Jan N. Bremmer

Trust within the afterlife remains to be greatly alive in Western civilisation, even if the reality of its lifestyles isn't any longer universally permitted. strangely, besides the fact that, heaven, hell and the immortal soul have been all rules which arrived really past due within the historical international. initially Greece and Israel - the cultures that gave us Christianity - had simply the vaguest rules of an afterlife. So the place did those suggestions come from and why did they develop?In this interesting, discovered, yet hugely readable e-book, Jan N. Bremmer - one of many most effective experts on old faith - takes a clean examine the most important advancements within the Western mind's eye of the afterlife, from the traditional Greeks to the trendy near-death adventure.

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Additional resources for The Rise and Fall of the Afterlife: The 1995 Read-Tuckwell Lectures at the University of Bristol

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93 Orphism, then, must have promoted a view of the soul as being very different from the body. The distance from the Homeric idea of the soul of the living (Ch. 1) has taken on startling proportions in a dirge of Pindar’s: In happy fate all die a death/that frees from care, and yet there still will linger behind/a living image of life,/for this alone has come from the gods. It sleeps while the limbs are active; but to those who sleep themselves /it reveals in myriad visions/the fateful approach/of adversities or delights.

Written by Adam Brand, Secretary of the Embassy . . (the title is a bibliographer’s nightmare), shortly to be followed by Dutch (Tiel, 1699), French (Amsterdam, 1699) and Spanish (Madrid, 1701) translations. Brand mentioned that ‘where five or six Tunguses live together . . they keep a shaman, which means a kind of priest or magician’. 8 It was only now that scholars could look at the well-known passages in Herodotus about the Scythians, which we will discuss in a moment, with fresh eyes. 10 Yet it would take until the end of the nineteenth century before shamans would again attract the attention of classicists.

Now in recent years scholars have increasingly become aware that this process of preservation was not a matter of faithfully handing down the thoughts of the master. 66 It is therefore questionable whether we will ever be able to reconstruct their thoughts. 67 Although its authenticity has been disputed,68 this is the first passage in Greek literature where we meet the ritual specialists of the Medes, whom we will meet again in our Chapter 4. For Heraclitus, the magoi apparently belong to groups of people who practised nightly, presumably private, ecstatic religious rites.

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