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Death and Afterlife: A Theological Introduction Paperback – March 1, 2010

4.5 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

"Nichols is to be commended for this outstanding introductory text on death, the afterlife, and resurrection. His book is ambitious in the best senses of that term. It addresses a topic that Christians too often sheepishly neglect or, perhaps worse, speak of in simplistic platitudes and imagery. The book is also ambitious in addressing every possible facet of its subject matter, including chapters on ancient Judaism, the New Testament, the Christian tradition, scientific challenges and responses, and even literature on 'near death experiences.' Quite evidently a gifted teacher, Nichols treats all of these topics in an accessible manner that is nonetheless clearly nourished by a command of available scholarship on these topics. The text will be invaluable in university classrooms. Indeed, the book will reward all Christians seeking to better understand Christian belief about the next life, as well as seekers who would benefit from a clear and fair account of Christian belief on this topic."--William C. Mattison III, The Catholic University of America

"In a world where even some Christians are embarrassed by talk of life after death, Nichols makes a compelling case that the afterlife is integral to understanding how life really is. This book provides the enormously valuable service of digesting a wide variety of scholarship--from theology to neuroscience--and presenting all sides fairly and accurately. The reader encounters not only biblical views of death and afterlife but also startling debates about near death experiences. Nichols provides sound arguments for why traditional Christian views of the afterlife are viable today and gives us ways not only of dying well but also of living well."--William T. Cavanaugh, University of St. Thomas

"Modern theologians tend to avoid the topics in this book. Nichols, however, takes them on with courage and clarity. As a systematic theologian, he rises to the challenge of facing deep human questions and tough contemporary doubts that nag around the edges of our systems of thought, trendy or not. But he does this above all because he is a deeply committed teacher who knows from years of conversation with students that the question of life after death has hardly gone away, if it ever could."--Gerald W. Schlabach, University of St. Thomas

About the Author

Terence Nichols (1941-2014) received his PhD from Marquette University and served as professor of theology at the University of St. Thomas for more than twenty-five years. He also founded and codirected the Muslim-Christian Dialogue Center at the University of St. Thomas. His books include That All May Be One: Hierarchy and Participation in the Church and The Sacred Cosmos: Christian Faith and the Challenge of Naturalism.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Brazos Press (March 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1587431831
  • ISBN-13: 978-1587431838
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #610,271 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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Nichols complete grasps your attention. In his intro. he sounds like a bible thumper, but if you look beyond that you will learn a lot and he will make you question the obvious and the not so obvious concepts that should be taken into consideration. Very interesting. I marked my book up completely with further comments and reactions. <3 it!
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I have been searching for a book to give to a friend who is seriously ill and close to death, and this is the absolutely best one I have found. It is highly readable while providing intelligent discussion of the Christian perspective on the afterlife. Although written from a Roman Catholic perspective, those who come from the Protestant perspective will also find it very helpful including the comments on purgatory.
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Who hasn't asked the question; "What happens after you die?" In the pages of Terence Nichols' book, one finds a perspective that is at once edifying,encouraging and worthy of consideration. A 2nd or 3rd read may be required,it is,in my view,time well spent.
Author offers the reader much to ponder and think about.
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What have people, particularly Christians, believed happens to us when we die? How do today's views of purgatory and hell differ from the past? How is "Today you will be with me in Paradise" reconciled with the Resurrection ? Look here for answers.
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Books on death and afterlife abound, written from many perspectives.

Of those volumes theologically committed but not oppressively dogmatic, - that is, taking a traditional view but willing to consider modern objections, - this one strikes me as foremost among the Catholic oriented treatments, and good companion to Hans Schwarz's Protestant perspective "Eschatology" & Seraphim Rose's Eastern Orthodox "The Soul at Death".

Still, ideas about death will never truly bridge the divide between our mortal state and the ultimate Mystery, and become largely powerless and irrelevant when in the crucible of a confrontation with its immediate facticity and the conscious surrender (or capitulation) that calls for. But as a child's play before the fact and that demand, ruminating over the conceptual possibilities and alternatives serves a certain inevitable curiosity that can be imaginatively stimulating to indulge.

Nichols (and the others) are useful guides in this domain, before the serious encounter that will surely come later.
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I go the book for a theology class, it is an in depth look at the Catholic outlook on death and afterlife especially due to recent scientific developements. If you are Catholic or just want to know the beliefs this is a very good book.
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