1st Edition

Death, Immortality, and Eternal Life

Edited By T. Ryan Byerly Copyright 2021
    220 Pages
    by Routledge

    220 Pages
    by Routledge

    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.


    T. Ryan Byerly

    Part One: Experiencing Death

    1 Interacting with the Afterlife: Continuing Bonds with Deceased Loved Ones

    Edith Steffen

    2 Belief in Afterlife and the Acceptance of Mortality

    Andrea Boudin

    3 Getting All Emotional about the Fear of Death

    Adam Patterson

    4 The Evidential Value of Near-Death Experiences: Controlling for Self-Selected Samples

    Beth Seacord

    Part Two: Surviving Death

    5 The True Self and Life after Death in Heaven

    Eleonore Stump

    6 Pantheism Does Not Preclude the Possibility of Post-Mortem Survival

    Andrei Buckareff

    7 Personal Identity Over Time and Life after Death

    R. T. Mullins

    Part Three: Immortality and Mortality

    8 Pro-Immortalism and Pro-Mortalism

    Yujin Nagasawa

    9 Life

    Christopher Belshaw

    10 Reality and Recurrence: Reflections on Nietzsche and Weil

    Stuart Jesson

    Part Four: Eternal Life

    11 Death, Immortality and Nirvāṇa in Buddhist Traditions

    Mikel Burley

    12 Embodiment in the New Creation

    Max Baker-Hytch

    13 Will there be Races in Heaven?

    Nathan Placencia


    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).