Bart Ehrman on Heaven and Hell

Professor Bart Ehrman (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) discusses Heaven and Hell in the Western tradition.

1. Zoom session facilitated by Clare Castro, Oxford University Press, April 20, 2020

“An author-led discussion of the afterlife in the Classical and Biblical worlds. Oxford author Bart Ehrman (The New Testament: A Historical Introduction to The Early Christian Writings, Seventh Edition; A Brief Introduction to The New Testament, Fourth Edition; and The Bible: A Historical and Literary Introduction, Second Edition) explores a variety of fascinating questions: How did the ancient Greeks and Romans think of life, death, and the afterlife? How are these phenomena depicted in the Old Testament? What were the views of the historical Jesus? How did they change after his death? And how do all these ideas differ from those widely held in the Christian world today?”

2. Discussion with Michael Shermer, Science Salon Podcast # 110, March 31, 2020

“Heaven and Hell: A History of the Afterlife

– What the bible says about the afterlife
– What Jesus really said about heaven
– Myths: their original purpose
– Real meaning of the resurrection

– Is the Kingdom of Heaven within us?”

 

3. Interview with Terry Gross, Fresh Air – Heaven and Hell Book Interview, National Public Radio, March 31, 2020

“She interviews Bart D. Ehrman on March 31, 2020, and centers the discussion to reflect on Bart’s book “Heaven and Hell: A History of the Afterlife.” Bart, the best-selling author of Misquoting Jesus takes on two of the most gripping questions of human existence: where did the ideas of heaven and hell come from, and why do they endure? He recounts the long history of the afterlife, ranging from The Epic of Gilgamesh up to the writings of Augustine, focusing especially on the teachings of Jesus and his early followers. He discusses ancient guided tours of heaven and hell, in which a living person observes the sublime blessings of heaven for those who are saved and the horrifying torments of hell for the damned.”

 

4.  Interview with Seán Moncrieff, Newstalk, January 13, 2020

“Seán Moncrieff hosts an eclectic Irish radio show on Newstalk which is operated by News 106 Limited, a subsidiary of Denis O’Brien’s Communicorp. He interviewed Bart on January 13th, 2020 during a seven-minute spot in brief discussion about his new book, “Heaven and Hell: A History of the Afterlife” to be published by Simon & Schuster. The interview asked questions like: Was Heaven and Hell discussed in the Old Testament? Does Judaism believe in the afterlife? Did the belief in Heaven and Hell exist during Jesus’ lifetime? Did there exist an early belief that a deceased person entered limbo after death? Doesn’t the physical depictions of Hell only make sense if a person is physically tortured? Why do more people in the U.S. believe in Heaven than in Hell? Other thoughts are considered during this succinct segment.”

The talks are based on his recent book, Heaven and Hell: A History of the Afterlife (Simon & Schuster, 2020).

Social Memory Theory and Conceptions of Afterlife

On May 16-17, 2019, at the Husitská teologická fakulta at Univerzity Karlovy in Czechoslovakia, a conference was held on the subject of “Social Memory Theory and Conceptions of Afterlife”.

Many of the papers at the conference were recorded:

Thursday, May 16th

I. Afterlife from Ancient Egypt and Israel to Early Judaism
10:15 – 10:45 Jiří Janák – Weighing of the Heart: Ancient Egyptian Judgement of the Dead and its Later Developments

10:45 – 11:15 Craig Broyles – The Nightmare of Sheol and the Counter-Memories of Yahwism

11:30 – 12:00 Dávid Cielontko – Eleazar Remembered: The Death and Afterlife of the Maccabean Martyr

II. Afterlife in Early Christianity – A
14:00 – 14:30 Sandra Huebenthal – Additional Notes to an Unfinished Symphony. Ressurection and Afterlife according to Mark
14:30 – 15:00 Thomas R. Hatina – When the Saints Go Marching in: Remembering Vengeance and Vindication in Matthew 27:52–53

15:15 – 15:45 Torsten Jantsch – A memory of Hades: The description of the underworld in Luke 16:19–31 and accounts of journeys into Hades in early Jewish and Greco-Roman literature

15:45 – 16:15 Kyle Parsons – From Romans to Colossians: Making Sense of Competing Conceptions of Resurrection

16:15 – 16:45 František Ábel – The Anamnestic Rhetoric of the Eucharistic Tradition Reflected in 1 Cor 11:24–25: Its Meaning and Role in Perspective of Afterlife Conception

Friday, May 17th

II. Afterlife in Early Christianity – B
10:00 – 10:30 Tobias Nicklas – The Apocalypse of Peter and its Otherworldly Landscape of Memories

10:30 – 11:00 Christian Handschuh – Extended Memory? Passio Perpetuae et Felicitatis as „Exempla fidei“

11:00 – 11:30 Jiří Lukeš – The Apocryphal Acts of Paul and Thecla – Sexual Asceticism as a Condition of Eternal Life

III. Hermeneutics and Memory
11:45 – 12:15 Petr Pokorný – Social Memory Theory and Formgeschichte

12:15 – 12:45 Zeba Crook – Form Criticism vs. Memory Theory on Resurrection Belief

14:00 – 14:30 Jan Payne – Program for Hermeneutics – To Understand the Past Is to Understand How the Passed Ones Approached Their Future

14:30 – 15:00 Lukáš Nikl – The Potential and Limits of Social Memory Approaches in Biblical Studies
15:00 Closing Discussion

 

Matthias Henze: The Resurrection of the Dead in Early Judaism and Christianity

Dr. Matthias Henze (Rice University) delivers a lecture on the topic, “In the Company of Angels: The Resurrection of the Dead in Early Judaism and Christianity,” recorded at Trinity University on March 2, 2017 (lecture begins at 4:36).

Jews and Christians share the belief that at the end of time God will raise the dead and make them live again. Some early Jewish and Christian writers went even further and anticipated a life among the angels. What do we know about the origin of this belief? The hope for the resurrection of the dead did not originate with Christianity, as is often claimed, but has deep roots in ancient Judaism. This talk will trace the origins of the belief in the resurrection from the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament through Judaism of the Second Temple period into the New Testament. Only when the New Testament texts about the resurrection are read side by side with the ancient Jewish texts about the end of time can we fully appreciate what the two religions have in common and where they differ.

Sharon Keller: Sex, Magic, and Death in the Hebrew Bible

Dr Sharon Keller (Hofstra University) delivers talks on Sex, Death, and Magic. The lecture was part of the Orange County Community Scholars Program (OCCSP), podcasted January 5-31, 2016.

The talks are available in m4a audio format:

keller_sharon

Michael Fishbane – 1990 Stroum Lectures: This Kiss of God: Spiritual Death in Jewish Religious History

Professor Michael Fishbane (University of Chicago) delivered the 1990 Stroum Lectures in Jewish Studies at the University of Washington: “This Kiss of God: Spiritual Death in Jewish Religious History”.

Lecture 1 (April 24, 1990), “Paths of Ascent to God in Jewish Spirituality”:

Lecture 2 (April 26, 1990), “The Martyr & the Mystic”:

Lecture 3 (April 30, 1990), “Rituals of Prayer and Sanctification”:

Symposium on Martyrdom in Comparative Perspective – Judaism and Christianity

At the Berkley Center, November 13, 2007:

This one-day symposium looked at the phenomenon of martyrdom across the Abrahamic religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. How has legitimate martyrdom been defined by the leaders of these three faith traditions and how have believers responded to it? What purpose does martyrdom serve? Are there particular circumstances that encourage people to sacrifice their lives for the sake of God? Panelists aimed to bring clarity to these issues by offering insights from the latest thinking on martyrdom. The first panel featured Elizabeth Castelli from Barnard College and University of Oklahoma’s Shmuel Skepkaru, who discussed martyrdom in Judaism and Christianity.

R.T. France on Mark, Empire, and the Revolutionary Jesus

The late Professor Richard T. France (1938-2012) delivered the 1989 Annual Moore College Lectures, “Divine Government: God’s Kingship in Mark” at Moore Theological College. Professor France was also the author of the New International Greek Testament Commentary, The Gospel of Mark: A Commentary on the Greek Text (Eerdmans Publishing, 2002).

Videos of the lectures in the series are available on Vimeo. All five lectures are also available in mp3 audio format (links below).

1. God rules: the background to the concept of the Kingdom of God

Audio

2. Government secrets: Mark 4 and the mysteries of the Kingdom of God

Audio

3. Revolutionary government: the “upside-down” values of the Kingdom of God

Audio

4. Government and power: Mark 9:1 and the coming of the Kingdom of God

Audio

5. The government on his shoulder: Jesus as King

Audio

Alan Segal on Life after Death

Professor Alan Segal (then emeritus at Barnard College) delivered a lecture on “Life After Death in Judaism” on November 13, 2008, at Stanford University. Alan Segal discusses near death experiences (NDEs), The Sopranos, Sheol, apocalyptic, martyrdom,  resurrection, and transformation into angels.

Alan Segal was the author of Life After Death: A History of the Afterlife in Western Religion (2010).

 

 

 

 

Yair Zakovitch – Life Beyond Life In The Bible

Professor Yair Zakovitch (Hebrew University of Jerusalem) delivered a talk on “Life Beyond Life In The Bible” as part of the Orange County Community Scholars Program (OCCSP), podcasted January 20, 2005.

The talk is available in m4a audio format:

Zakovitch_Yair

The Apocalyptic Paul – The Creation, Conflict, and Cosmos Conference

apocalyptic-paulThe Creation, Conflict, and Cosmos Conference was held at Princeton Theological Seminary on May 2-5, 2012. The papers were later developed for publication in Apocalyptic Paul: Cosmos and Anthropos in Romans 5-8, ed. Beverly Roberts Gaventa (Baylor University Press, 2013).

The Conference includes a paper from the late J. Louis Martyn (October 11, 1925 – June 4, 2015).

All of the conference papers are available in mp3 audio format on the PTS site.

Wednesday, May 2

Opening Worship sermon by Luke Powery, “Groaning with Love”

 

Thursday, May 3

Plenary 1
Stephen Westerholm: “Righteousness Cosmic and Microcosmic”

Plenary 2
Benjamin Myers: “Christ, Adam, and the Self: Revisiting Augustine’s Interpretation of Romans”

Plenary 3
Susan Grove Eastman: “Double Participation and the Responsible Self in Romans 5–8”

 

Friday, May 4

Plenary 1
Martinus de Boer: “Paul’s Mythologizing Program in Romans 5–8”
Plenary 2
Beverly Roberts Gaventa: “The Shape of the ‘I’: The Psalter, The Speaker, and the Audience in Romans 7”
Plenary 3
Neil Elliot: “The Spirit and Creation in Romans 8”

 

Saturday, May 5


Plenary 1
John M.G. Barclay: “Under Grace: The Christ-Gift and the Construction of a Christian Habitus”

Plenary 2
Philip G. Ziegler: “Love Is a Sovereign Thing”

Plenary 3
J. Louis Martyn: “Reflections on the Conference”

 

The Bible in Contemporary English Politics

From Sheffield Biblical Studies, three lectures by James Crossley:

The following three audios (mp3) are full length lectures are from the William Temple Association lecture series (Jan./Feb. 2014)

Lecture 1: The Bible in Contemporary English Politics; or, Tony Benn and the decline of the Radical Bible. This looks at the assumptions of what the Bible ‘really means’ in English (and broader) political discourse and the decline of politically radical interpretation of the Bible in English politics with particular reference to Tony Benn.

Lecture 2: Margaret Thatcher’s Religion. This is, incidentally, a bit different from a previous lecture on Thatcher’s Bible, though with some overlap towards the end (on her biblical exegesis). It looks at Thatcher’s Methodist upbringing, her ‘rediscovery’ of Methodism in the 1970s, the Cold War and her understanding of Marxism in to religion, her understanding of Judaism, her conflicts with the CofE, and her biblical exegesis.

Lecture 3: Tony Blair and the End of the Radical Bible. This lecture looks at how Blair developed Thatcher’s Bible and her understanding of religion during the war on terror. It will further look at Blair’s reinterpretation of Labour’s more radical heritage to now concern liberal interventionism. Blair represents the final victory of Thatcher’s Bible in parliamentary politics.

Early Marxist Interpretations of the New Testament and Christian Origins

The Marxist Internet Archive (MIA) has an archive of Marxist publications, including the most famous contributions to the study of the New Testament and Christian origins. These are:

Frederick Engels, The Book of Revelation (1883)

Frederick Engels, Bruno Bauer and Early Christianity (1882)

Frederick Engels, On the History of Early Christianity (1894)

Karl Kautsky, Foundations of Christianity (1908)

Elaine Pagels Examines the Book of Revelation

Professor Elaine Pagels, of Princeton University, presented various lectures on Revelation to coincide with publication of her book Revelations: Visions, Prophecy, and Politics in the Book of Revelation (2013).

Pagels’ lecture at the Walter H. Capps Centre for the Study of Ethics, Religion, and Public Life can be found halfway down the page.

Pagels

Elaine Pagels examines the Book of Revelation and asks questions about its origin and importance. Who wrote the Book of Revelation, when, and why? What other “books of revelation”–Jewish and Christian–were written at the time but left out of the Bible? What accounts for the enduring appeal of this book during the past 2000 years, and even today?

The following is an audio of a radio interview with Pagels on Revelations:

Pagels also delivers the Vanderbilt Divinity School Cole Lecture, “Art, Music and Politics in the Book of Revelation”:

Beyond Belief: Radio 4 Episodes

The Radio 4 series, Beyond Belief can be downloaded as mp3s, and many of the episodes are relevant for biblical studies.

One biblical studies contribution is from Francesca Stavrakopoulou covering the history of ‘biblical archaeology’, historicity,  and the Dead Sea Scrolls and the historical Jesus. There is also further discussion about archaeology in relation to contemporary political issues, particularly those involving Christian Zionism, Israel and Palestine.