To the House Without Exit

Part One:  The Origins of the Afterlife

April 14  •  6:00p  •  Online

Part two: The Origins of the Afterlife 

April 21  •  6:00p  •  Online

Guest Lecturer: Dr. Justin Sledge 

Free and open to the public.

Dr. Justin Sledge
Dr. Justin Sledge

Explore the simultaneously fascinating and arcane dimensions of the afterlife! 

It’s thought that there is no more fundamentally religious idea than the afterlife. While ubiquitous in the western world, this concept is both historically and philosophically complicated: How old is this notion? 

Both lectures stand alone, so attending each is not mandatory for understanding this intriguing religious subject. Additionally, both parts will be available for viewing at a later date.

Part One | The Origins of the Afterlife 

Dr. Sledge introduces major historical moments and philosophical afterlife beliefs, exploring the early origins of the concept among the ancient Mesopotamians, Egyptians, Canaanites/Israelites, Greeks, and Persians. Do all cultures develop similar afterlives? Did a now-obscure Persian religion fundamentally alter the afterlife ideas in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam?

Part Two | The Flowering of the Afterlife 

Dr. Sledge’s second lecture focuses on the flowering of the afterlife in the centuries forged by early Christianity, rabbinical Judaism, and Islam. Here the concept of heaven and hell is simultaneously organized yet continues to shift and evolve. New questions emerge: Do Jews really downplay or reject the notion of an afterlife? Did Dante’s Divine Comedy reflect on and innovate medieval Christian afterlife? Is it possible to imagine an afterlife without being religious?

The Sheppy Dog Fund Lecture has been established to address the topics of art, religion, and history prior to the 19th century, and is funded by the Sheppy Dog Fund, Dr. Alan Klein, Advisor.

How do I view the lecture?

To view the lecture or participate in the live Q & A with Dr. Cruse via Zoom, click here to register. To watch live via YouTube, click here. For more instructions on how to view, click here.

Image: French. A Knight of the d’Aluye Family, after 1248–by 1267. Limestone, 13 x 33 1/2 × 83 1/2 inches. The Cloisters Collection, 1925. The Metropolitan Museum of Art

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