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date: 19 June 2019

Abstract and Keywords

From the biblical message of death and resurrection, Christianity moves between two poles, the fear of death and the hope for eternal life. Belief in Heaven and Hell, and subsequently in an ‘inbetween’ place, developed from these beliefs and from the ethical framework of Christianity. This chapter examines the theological roots of medieval Christian belief in the afterlife, examining changing ideas about death and the body, salvation and damnation, heaven and hell. The theme of intercession became more prominent in the early middle ages, with an accompanying development in ritual practices. These beliefs and ideas were shared across Christianity, both popular and elite. However, there was a key turning point after 1100, driven by the emerging contest between closeness to God via reason (Scholasticism) or emotion (mysticism).

Keywords: Death, resurrection, burial, liturgy, intercession, hell, heaven, purgatory

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