Death as Life and Life as Death
by James Tabor
I was deeply honored to be asked to contribute to a volume of essays presented to my esteemed and much beloved University of Chicago teacher Robert M. Grant on his 90th birthday. In my essay I pick up on the work of the esteemed 19th century Classicist Erwin Rohde, Psyche, that deals with Greek notions of immortality. Many outside the field will known Rohde as a fellow student and friend of Friedrich Nietzsche.
My thesis is that the emerging Jewish and Christian ideas of resurrection of the dead and immortality are part of this larger Hellenistic context in which the idea of mortals escaping death and becoming immortal become so central in both religious and philosophical thought. This is a theme I have touched on in previous essays dealing with “Paul and Poimandres” and my survey article “What the Bible Really Says About the Future,” which you can find in the menu in the header of this blog under “Articles and Papers.”
Here is my essay:
“Death As Life and Life as Death: Revisiting Rohde,” in Reading Religions in the Ancient World, essays presented to Robert McQueen Grant on his 90th Birthday, eds. David E. Aune and Robin Darling Young (Supplements to Novum Testamentum 125; Leiden: E. J. Brill: 2007): 27-38.