JES 509 Jewish Views of the Afterlife I: Immortality and Eschatology in Biblical and Rabbinic Tradition

Faculty: Reb Simcha Raphael (Profile)


Teachings on life after death are found in religious traditions throughout the world. Yet often, many are unaware of the vast legacy of Judaism’s teachings on the afterlife journey of the soul. This course shall investigate teachings on life after death and post-mortem as found in the earliest layers of Jewish texts. We shall examine the development of a notion of individual immortality as found int he Hebrew Bible, texts of the Apocrypha and in Rabbinic literature. In particular, we shall look at the tension between the notion of individual survival as opposed to collective eschatology — the end-of-time destiny in the collective of the Israelite people. Students are encouraged to use the texts explored in this course to help develop their own contemporary philosophy of death and the afterlife.

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