Life after Death
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Christian beliefs

Why Christians believe in life after death

  • The resurrection of Jesus for Christians proves that there is life after death.
  • Jesus tells Christians they will be brought back to life in John 11:25.
  • Jesus teaches that he is the key to eternal life. (John 3:16-17)
  • St.Paul teaches about life after death and how the body will be transformed from a physical body to a spiritual one when it is raised. (1 Corinthians 15:20, 35-8, 42-4)

How these beliefs affect Christians

  • Some Christians believe in the Resurrection, that after death the body stays in the grave till the Day of Judgement. When everyone will be raised from the dead and be judged by God. As such they want to lead good lives so they can get to heaven

Islamic beliefs

Why Muslims believe in life after death

  • The Quran and Muhammed state that it exists.
  • It is one of the ‘6 Fundamental beliefs’ of Islam
  • Life is a test reward/punishment can only come in the next life

How these beliefs affect Muslims

  • To get to heaven they will lead a good life – following the 5 Pillars is a way to do this – also follow Shari’ah law – all this gives meaning and purpose to their life and so they would be less likely to commit suicide.

Non-Religious reasons for believing in life after death

  • Near-death experiences- people who have had these say that they were travelling through a tunnel or toward a light e.g. research of Dr S Parnia
  • Existence of the spirit world/ghosts - who are thought to be the spirits of the dead that are sometimes visible to the living. Use mediums and ouija boards.
  • Reincarnation – people claim they can remember previous lives e.g. case of Taranjit Singh

The case against life after death

  • Scientific evidence shows that when the body dies, everything decays.
  • No one has returned from the dead to tell us.
  • The end of life means exactly that, it is illogical to speak about life after death.
  • Life-support machines prove the brain dies before the body

A short history of the afterlife

This video is one of four 'short histories'. In each, some big questions, illustrated by perspectives and snippets from the history of religion, are posed. Is death the end? Is there any evidence for an afterlife? Is death a consequence of sin, but with hope of a risen life, as Christians say? Or is it all about karma leading to rebirth, as Buddhists believe?


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