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.

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Matthias Henze on the Origins of Belief in Demons and Evil Spirits

On March 30, 2015, at The Arizona Center for Judaic Studies, University of Arizona, Professor Matthias Henze (Rice University) delivered a talk on “Demons and Evil Spirits in Early Judaism and Christianity”.

Dr. Matthias Henze talk will explore the origins of the beliefs in demons and evil spirits. The rich literature of the late Second Temple period attests to a wide array of speculations about the origin, nature, and function of demons and evil forces. There are incantations against demons and liturgies for exorcism among the Dead Sea Scrolls. While rabbinic Judaism later on dismissed such beliefs and practices, demons had a major impact on Christianity and continue to be alive and well in some Christian circles today.