Death, Resurrection, and the Afterlife in Judaism and Christianity

Aug. 15 2022

The death and resurrection of Jesus is the theological premise of Christian doctrine, and has been since the religion’s inception. But the idea of the dead returning to life was also a key idea in the Judaism of the Second Temple era out of which Christianity sprung. For instance: the second blessing of the shmoneh esrey, rabbinic Judaism’s most important prayer, praises God “Who brings the dead to life.” Jon D. Levenson and Kevin Madigan discuss how these ideas were understood by the Jews of the 1st century CE and how they relate to notions of death, the soul, eschatology, and the sanctity of the Temple. In doing so, they touch on the biblical understanding of death, the differences between Judaism and Christianity, the origins of Christian theological anti-Semitism, and much else. (Moderated by Cliff Sekowe. Video, 56 minutes.)

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Read more at Pholoso Ministries

More about: Afterlife, Christianity, Hebrew Bible, Jewish-Christian relations, Resurrection

How the Death of Mahsa Amini Changed Iran—and Its Western Apologists

Sept. 28 2022

On September 16, a twenty-two-year-old named Mahsa Amini was arrested by the Iranian morality police for improperly wearing a hijab. Her death in custody three days later, evidently after being severely beaten, sparked waves of intense protests throughout the country. Since then, the Iranian authorities have killed dozens more in trying to quell the unrest. Nervana Mahmoud comments on how Amini’s death has been felt inside and outside of the Islamic Republic:

[I]n Western countries, the glamorizing of the hijab has been going on for decades. Even Playboy magazine published an article about the first “hijabi” news anchor in American TV history. Meanwhile, questioning the hijab’s authenticity and enforcement has been framed as “Islamophobia.” . . . But the death of Mahsa Amini has changed everything.

Commentators who downplayed the impact of enforced hijab have changed their tune. [Last week], CNN’s Christiane Amanpour declined an interview with the Iranian president Ebrahim Raisi, and the Biden administration imposed sanctions on Iran’s notorious morality police and senior officials for the violence carried out against protesters and for the death of Mahsa Amini.

The visual impact of the scenes in Iran has extended to the Arab world too. Arabic media outlets have felt the winds of change. The death of Mahsa Amini and the resulting protests in Iran are now top headlines, with Arab audiences watching daily as Iranian women from all age groups remove their hijabs and challenge the regime policy.

Iranian women are making history. They are teaching the world—including the Muslim world—about the glaring difference between opting to wear the hijab and being forced to wear it, whether by law or due to social pressure and mental bullying. Finally, non-hijabi women are not afraid to defy, proudly, their Islamist oppressors.

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Read more at Nervana

More about: Arab World, Iran, Women in Islam