This book offers a multifaceted exploration of death and the possibilities for an afterlife. By incorporating a variety of approaches to these subjects, it provides a unique framework for extending and reshaping enduring philosophical debates around human existence up to and after death.
Featuring original essays from a diverse group of international scholars, the book is arranged in four main sections. Firstly, it addresses how death is or should be experienced, engaging with topics such as near-death experiences, continuing bonds with the deceased, and attitudes toward dying. Secondly, it looks at surviving death, addressing the metaphysics of human persons, the nature of time, the nature of the true self, and the nature of the divine. It then evaluates the value of mortality and immortality, drawing upon the resources of the history of philosophy, meta-analysis of contemporary debates, and the analogy between individual death and species extinction. Finally, it explores what an eternal life might be like, examining the place of selflessness, embodiment, and racial identity in such a life.
This volume allows for a variety of philosophical and theological perspectives to be brought to bear on the end of life and what might be beyond. As such, it will be a fascinating resource for scholars in the philosophy of religion, theology, and death studies.
Table of Contents
T. Ryan Byerly
Part One: Experiencing Death
1 Interacting with the Afterlife: Continuing Bonds with Deceased Loved Ones
2 Belief in Afterlife and the Acceptance of Mortality
3 Getting All Emotional about the Fear of Death
4 The Evidential Value of Near-Death Experiences: Controlling for Self-Selected Samples
Part Two: Surviving Death
5 The True Self and Life after Death in Heaven
6 Pantheism Does Not Preclude the Possibility of Post-Mortem Survival
7 Personal Identity Over Time and Life after Death
R. T. Mullins
Part Three: Immortality and Mortality
8 Pro-Immortalism and Pro-Mortalism
10 Reality and Recurrence: Reflections on Nietzsche and Weil
Part Four: Eternal Life
11 Death, Immortality and Nirvāṇa in Buddhist Traditions
12 Embodiment in the New Creation
13 Will there be Races in Heaven?
T. Ryan Byerly is Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Sheffield, UK. His research interests include philosophy of religion and virtue theory. His recent books include Putting Others First: The Christian Ideal of Others-Centeredness (2019) and Paradise Understood: New Philosophical Essays about Heaven (2017).