Christianity is a religion of salvation in which believers have always anticipated some type of post-mortem bliss. This belief in salvation for the faithful has usually meant non-salvation for others. The Christian imagination in the West has usually drawn a sharp boundary at death, on the principle that, if someone did not join up with the saved community during this life, joining it after death would be impossible. In this book, Jeffrey Trumbower examines how and why death came to be perceived as such a firm boundary of salvation. Analyzing exceptions to this principle from ancient Christianity, he finds that the principle itself was slow to develop and not universally accepted in the Christian movement's first four hundred years. In fact, only in the West was this principle definitively articulated, due in large part to the work and influence of Augustine.
Rescue for the Dead
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