Dolmen Celtic Artifact Menhir Ireland Poulnabrone

Otherworld

Otherworld The concept of an otherworld in historical Indo-European religion is reconstructed in comparative mythology. Its name is a calque of orbis alius (Latin for “other Earth/world”), a term used by Lucan in his description of the Celtic Otherworld. Comparable religious, mythological or metaphysical concepts, such as a realm of supernatural beings and a realm of the dead, are found in cultures throughout the world. Spirits are thought...

Hades abducting Persephone, fresco in the small Macedonian royal tomb at Vergina, Macedonia, Greece, c. 340 BC

Hades

Hades Hades (Greek Haidēs  or Aidēs) refers to both the ancient Greek underworld and to the deity that presided over the spirits of the deceased. This dual use was, however, a relatively late development in classical writing, as the term originally referred only to the god—as attested to in the writings of Homer. In...

Purgatory: Rabbinic Views

Purgatory: An intermediate state through which souls are to pass in order to be purified from sin before they are admitted into the heavenly paradise. The belief in purgatory, fundamental with the Roman Catholic Church, is based by the Church authorities chiefly upon II Macc. xii. 44-45: “If he [Judas]...

tunnel

What Is Limbo?

Limbo (Late Latin limbus) a word of Teutonic derivation, meaning literally “hem” or “border,” as of a garment, or anything joined on (cf. Italian lembo or English limb). In theological usage the name is applied to (a) the temporary place or state of the souls of the just who, although purified from sin, were excluded from the beatific vision...

Christian Views on Hades

Christian Views on Hades In New Testament Greek, the Hebrew phrase “לא־תעזב נפשׁי לשׁאול” (you will not abandon my soul to Sheol) in Psalm 16:10 is quoted in Acts 2:27 as “οὐκ ἐγκαταλείψεις τὴν ψυχήν μου εἰς ᾅδου” (you will not abandon my soul to Hades). In the Textus Receptus version of the New Testament, on which the English King...

What Is Sheol?

Sheol She’ol (שְׁאוֹל Šəʾōl), in the Hebrew Bible, is a place of darkness to which all the dead go, both the righteous and the unrighteous, regardless of the moral choices made in life, a place of stillness and darkness cut off from life and from God.[1] The inhabitants of Sheol are the “shades”...

Limbo

Limbo In Catholic theology, Limbo (Latin limbus, edge or boundary, referring to the “edge” of Hell) is a doctrine concerning the afterlife condition of those who die in original sin without being assigned to the Hell of the Damned. Medieval theologians of western Europe described the underworld (“hell”, “hades”, “infernum”) as divided...

Intermediate State

Intermediate State In some forms of Christian eschatology, the intermediate state or interim state is a person’s “intermediate” existence between one’s death and the universal resurrection. In addition, there are beliefs in a particular judgment right after death and a general judgement or last judgment after the resurrection. Christians looked for an imminent end...

What Is Purgatory?

Purgatory Catholic doctrine Purgatory (Lat., “purgare”, to make clean, to purify) in accordance with Catholic teaching is a place or condition of temporal punishment for those who, departing this life in God’s grace, are, not entirely free from venial faults, or have not fully paid the satisfaction due to their transgressions. The faith of the Church concerning purgatory is clearly expressed...

Limbo and Purgatory

Purgatory

What Is Purgatory? Purgatory (purgatorium, via Anglo-Norman and Old French)[1] is an intermediate state after physical death for expiatory purification.[2] Roman Catholic doctrine holds that this state exists and that those being purified can be helped by the prayers of the living.[3] In the speculation of theologians and in popular imagination, purgatory is a place where this purification is done by...

Christian Views on Hell

Christian Views on Hell In Christian theology, Hell is the place or state into which by God’s definitive judgment unrepentant sinners pass either immediately after death (particular judgment) or in the general judgment.[1] Its character is inferred from teaching in the biblical texts, some of which, interpreted literally, have given rise to the popular idea of Hell.[1] Theologians today...

"Souls on the Banks of the Acheron", oil painting depicting Hermes in the underworld. Adolf Hirémy-Hirschl, 1898.

Greek Underworld

Greek Underworld In mythology, the Greek underworld is an otherworld where souls go after death. The original Greek idea of afterlife is that, at the moment of death, the soul is separated from the corpse, taking on the shape of the former person, and is transported to the entrance of the...

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