Christian mortalism incorporates the belief that the human soul is not naturally immortal; and may include the belief that the soul is uncomprehending during the time between bodily death and Judgment Day resurrection, known as the intermediate state. “Soul sleep” is an often pejorative term so the more neutral term “materialism” was also used in the nineteenth century, and “Christian mortalism” since the 1970s.
Historically the term psychopannychism was also used, despite problems with the etymology and application. The term thnetopsychism has also been used, for example Gordon Campbell (2008) identified Milton as believing in the latter though in fact both De doctrina Christiana and Paradise Lost refers to death as “sleep” and the dead as being “raised from sleep”. The difference is difficult to identify in practice.
Related and contrasting viewpoints of life after death include universal reconciliation, where all souls are immortal (or are mortal, but universally given continuance) and eventually are reconciled, and special salvation, where a positive afterlife is exclusively held by just some souls. Christian mortalism has been taught by several theologians and church organizations throughout history while also facing opposition from aspects of Christian organized religion. The Roman Catholic Church condemned such thinking in the Fifth Council of the Lateran as “erroneous assertions”. Supporters include the sixteenth-century religious figure Martin Luther and the eighteenth-century religious figure Henry Layton among many others.
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Keywords: Immortality of the soul, Soul, Kill the body, Soul's immortality, Immortal soul, Kill the soul, Immortal spirit, Soul sleep, Heaven going, Going to heaven, Psychopannychism
Bible reference(s): Genesis 3:19, Genesis 35:18, 1 Samuel 28:8-15, Matthew 10:28, Matthew 22:32, Matthew 27:52, Luke 16:22-26, John 11:11-12, Acts 7:60, Acts 7:59-60, 1 Corinthians 15:6, 1 Corinthians 15:14, 1 Corinthians 15:16, 1 Corinthians 15:18, 1 Corinthians 15:20, 1 Th 4:13-15, 1 Thessalonians 5:23, Hebrews 4:12, 1 Peter 3:19, 2 Peter 3:4, Revelation 6:9
Source: This article uses material from the Wikipedia article “Christian mortalism,” which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.
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