Hell and Its Rivals: Death and Retribution among Christians, Jews, and Muslims in the Early Middle Ages

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The idea of punishment after death-whereby the souls of the wicked are consigned to Hell (Gehenna, Gehinnom, or Jahannam)-emerged out of beliefs found across the Mediterranean, from ancient Egypt to Zoroastrian Persia, and became fundamental to the Abrahamic religions. Once Hell achieved doctrinal expression in the New Testament, the Talmud, and the Qur'an, thinkers began to question Hell's eternity, and to consider possible alternatives-hell's rivals. Some imagined outright escape, others periodic but temporary relief ...

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