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After We Die
Theology, Philosophy, and the Question of Life after Death
In After We Die, philosopher Stephen T. Davis subjects one of Christianity’s key beliefs—that Christians not only will survive death but also will enjoy bodily resurrection—to searching philosophical analysis. Facing each critique squarely, Davis contends that traditional, historic belief about the eschatological future is philosophically defensible.
Davis examines personal extinction, reincarnation, and immortality of the soul. By juxtaposing two systems of salvation—reincarnation/karma and resurrection/grace—Davis explores the Christian claim that humans will be raised from the dead, as well as the radical Christian assertions of Jesus’ resurrection, ascension, and long-anticipated return. Davis finally addresses Christian thinking about heaven, hell, and purgatory.
The philosophical defense of Christianity’s core beliefs enables Davis to render a reasonable answer to the eternal question of what happens to us after we die. After We Die is essential reading for teachers and students of philosophy, theology, and Bible, as well as anyone interested in a reasoned analysis of historic Christian faith, particularly as it pertains to the inevitable end of each and every human being.
1 Survival of Death Theories
2 Karma versus Grace
4 Ascension and Second Coming
“Stephen T. Davis explores a number of related questions about death and what happens after death, and argues that an array of traditional Christian views about these matters are both philosophically and theologically defensible. Written in a clear, no-nonsense style, Davis gives fair consideration to alternative views, and helps readers see what is at stake in relation to issues that are genuinely ‘existential.’ This is an important book that will not only be valuable to academic readers, but to anyone pondering these great questions.”
—C. Stephen Evans, University Professor of Philosophy and Humanities, Baylor University
“After We Die demonstrates that even the most minimal attempt to explain resurrection runs into logical snares and theological conundrums. Davis is scrupulous about noting difficulties and ingenious in offering possible solutions. I heartily commend his efforts to any preacher or teacher called upon to explain resurrection.
—Dennis O’Brien, Christian Century
“This accessible, elegant, and intellectually honest argument for classical Christian eschatology is chock full of carefully reasoned arguments on behalf of contested Christian beliefs. It is Christian apologetics at its kindest.”
—Ellen T. Charry, Margaret W. Harmon Professor of Theology, Princeton Theological Seminary
“In After We Die, Stephen Davis gathers a deep learning in philosophy and religion to present a wonderfully clear, articulate, and honest presentation of Christian thought for today. Anyone with an open mind and a curious spirit will learn from and enjoy this fine volume.”
—Alan G. Padgett, Professor of Systematic Theology and Coordinator for Methodist Studies, Luther Seminary (St. Paul)
"Davis’s After We Die is extremely well written, up-to-date, and full of interesting arguments, dealt with in a systematic way."
—Benedikt Paul Göcke, Reading Religion
Stephen T. Davis (Ph.D. Claremont Graduate University) is Russell K. Pitzer Professor of Philosophy, Claremont McKenna College.