Ancient Christian and Jewish texts threatened women with hellfire if they stepped out of line – and those terrifying visions still resonate in U.S. society today.
This doctrine is not for the fainthearted.
In the Bible, heaven is where God resides, rather than a place of eternal life. But over time it has become conflated with ideas of paradise and eternal salvation.
“Hell” in the Bible is a highly symbolic idea designed to persuade people to stay faithful to their God, not to set out a precise agenda for the afterlife.
It might appear to many that atheism is a modern idea. However, in parts of Asia, particularly in India, atheism has been part of beliefs for thousands of years.
In their zeal to evangelize the world, at the end of 19th century, young families were sent overseas with little to no training in anything beyond the Bible and no promise of funding.
Ghost stories are often about the departed seeking justice for an earthly wrong. Their sightings are a reminder that ethics and morality transcend our lives.
Hell-themed Halloween attractions play on people’s fears. The early depictions of hell were meant to use fear as a moral guide to help others.
Different cultural groups respond with numerous, often conflicting, answers to questions about life after death. An expert explains the Christian idea of heaven.
Notions of heaven have changed through the ages, from an eternity centred on God to a more secular place where loved ones will reunite.
The meaning of hell might have changed over the centuries, but for devout Christians it remains a core part of their faith.
For medieval cultures, the dying process and death itself was a ‘transition,’ not a rupture.