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DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-K088-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 1998
Retrieved April 12, 2024, from

Article Summary

The Judaeo-Christian belief in a future general resurrection of the dead arose in late second-temple Judaism (see, for example, Daniel 12: 2 and John 11: 24). (Whether there would be a resurrection of the dead was one of the main points that divided the Pharisees and the Sadducees.) When the new Christian movement appeared – before it was clearly something other than a party or sect within Judaism – it centred on the belief that the crucified Jesus of Nazareth had been, in a literal, bodily sense, raised from the dead (resurrectus) and that his resurrection was, in some way, the means by which the expected general resurrection of the dead would be accomplished. Indeed, resurrection was so pervasive a theme in early Christian preaching that it was apparently sometimes thought that Christians worshipped two gods called ‘Jesus’ and ‘Resurrection’ (Anastasis). The early Christians generally said that ‘God raised Jesus from the dead’. In post-New Testament times, it became more common for Christians to say that ‘Jesus rose from the dead’. Belief in the resurrection of Jesus and a future general resurrection continue to be central to Christianity. Christians have always insisted that resurrection is not a mere restoration of what the resurrected person had before death (as in the story in the fourth Gospel of the raising of Lazarus) but is rather a doorway into a new kind of life. The status of a belief in the general resurrection in rabbinic Judaism is difficult to summarize. It should be noted, however, that a belief in the resurrection of the dead is one of Maimonides’ ‘thirteen principles’, which some Jews regard as a summary of the essential doctrines of Judaism. A belief in a general resurrection of the dead is one of many Judaeo-Christian elements that have been incorporated into Islam.

Citing this article:
van Inwagen, Peter. Resurrection, 1998, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-K088-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
Copyright © 1998-2024 Routledge.

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