Judisk syn på Livet efter detta
In this essay I have tried to describe the rich tradition of thoughts about the afterlife in Judaism. The first part contains litterary studies and the second part is based on interviews with religious representatives. The first part is a description of the progress of thought in history around the issue afterlife. The sources reveal a vast amount of intellectual work on the issue. I have tried to follow the path of thought, and how it developed, so that the reader can see how one thought leads to the other but also how each period’s way of thinking is influnced by its context. The picture is not homogenetic. Troughout Jewish history there has been a permisive attitude against the impulse of saying the opposite of the general wiew, and to include the counterparts view in the texts that was saved for the future. Despite this, there have been influences from important philosophers, changes in history (enlightenment and holocaust) and both common attitudes and prejudicism, that has taken the issue afterlife off the agenda in judaism. It is – up until this day – not unusual that a rabbi, confronted with the question what jews beleive about life after death, can answer: - ”We have no beleif in the afterlife. We are a this-worldly religion.” When I started my work on this essay I talked with a friend who had heard a christian priest talk about what they knew about the Jewish views on the afterlife, and their conclusion was that the jews didn’t have any view on the afterlife.” This essay proves that they are wrong, although I met restraint. Having read a lot about the vast tradition about afterlife ideas through history, it was astonishing and surprising to get the answer, ”we don’t have a view about the afterlife, from one of the representatives. The second part of the essay tries to answer the question wether there is a conciousness about the vast and rich tradition of though about the afterlife, or not. Despite the restraint, the interviewed representatives revealed a great deal of knowledge, even of the parts in the tradition that they deny. My hope and ambition with this essay is that reading it will guide the reader inside the Jewish way of thinking, more than answering the question what will happen after I die. If I manage to show the reader my fascination of the combination between playfulness and deep seriousity in Jewish thinking; I have succeded.
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Keywords:religion afterlife jewish
Date of Publication:01/30/2006