Cover image for After death? : past beliefs and real possibilities
After death? : past beliefs and real possibilities
Edwards, David L. (David Lawrence), 1929-
Publication Information:
London : Cassell, 1999.
Physical Description:
ix, 182 pages ; 22 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
BL535 .E49 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



Will anything of us survive after death? This question is a central concept when we ask what life means. Throughout history, societies and their cultures, in particular their religions and philosophies, have done what they could to guide and sustain people as they moved towards this destination and as they mourned. In societies which are in some sense secular this official sort of comfort has become less accessible, many things which in the past have been taught with some authority and believed with some assurance have become incredible to many. Much of what has been taught in the religious institutions seems plainly wrong and much of what has been believed by the public seems merely sentimental.

Author Notes

Authors Bio, not available

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Edwards accessibly surveys attitudes toward death in sources ranging from ancient texts to contemporary philosophical, scientific, and theological accountings. As an Anglican priest, Edwards is well aware of secular and skeptical trends in the British and other European publics, and also of the popularity of speculation on death and the afterlife in a smorgasbord of traditions, stories, and fragments that were distilled in the phenomenon of Princess Diana's funeral. Because Edwards casts his net wide, the book introduces general readers to an impressive range of literature on the subject, from Plato and the Bhagavad Gita to Charles Hartshorne, Jessica Mitford, and John Hick; although he avoids footnotes, he appends a substantial list of further reading. His conclusion, "Heaven without Another World," stays well within the limits of Anglican orthodoxy but may be a fresh homily for Americans, whose thinking on the subject has been permeated by a Puritan vision that was purer, Edwards notes, in New England than in old England. --Steven Schroeder

Library Journal Review

What survives after we die, and/or where do we go? These are fundamental questions we ask as we try to make sense of our purpose on Earth. Edwards (Christianity: The First Two Thousand Years), retired as Provost in the Church of England, provides an analysis of past and present beliefs regarding the afterlife. As a priest in the Church of England, he is inevitably biased in his conviction that there are lessons to be learned from Jesus' resurrection from the dead. Mortals are not guaranteed immortality from Christ's teachings, he argues, but are given comfort in their bereavement. He finally concludes that a belief in life after death can be strengthened by more scientific research. For popular religious collections.ÄLeo Kriz, West Des Moines Lib., IA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.