Survivor of Mesopotamian Great Flood, granted immortality by the gods. Gives Gilgamesh two chances to become immortal.
Mesopotamian form of writing. All symbols, written on tablets. One of the earliest forms of writing.
Earliest Jewish conception of the afterlife. A place of darkness 'removed from the light of God'
Mesopotamian name for a dead person who was not buried. The spirit will wander the earth and can seriously harm living people.
A philosophical study attempting to prove that god is omnibenevolent (all-loving), omniscient (all-knowing), and omnipotent (all-powerful).
A religion that deals with a dichotomy, such as good vs. evil, yin vs yang, or heaven and hell.
Belief that how a person behaves in life will somehow influence what happens to them after they die
"Stone and Banana"
Indonesian explanation of mortality. 1st Couple was hungry. God gave rock. Still hungry. God gives banana, which they ate. Thats why people are mortal like bananas and not immortal like rocks.
"The Cast Skin"
Other Indonesian explanation of mortality. People used to be able to shed skin and throw in river, being immortal. One day an old woman kept her old skin and put it back on. Since then people have been immortal.
Valley of Dry Bones
Symbolic resting site of the people of Israel. The LORD brought Ezekiel here and told him that he will revive the bones on Judgment Day.
According to Islam, angels are messengers of God. They have no free will, and sometimes test humans at God's command.
Islamic view of the devil. Hubris personified, his only power is to cast evil suggestions into men, women, and jinn
In Old Tibetan Buddhism, a human corpse was cut into pieces at specific locations and left for birds of prey to eat. This is because the soul has already reincarnated, so its old body is merely an empty shell.
To be a civil religion, a religion must have all of the following: (1) diety, (2) life to come, (3) reward of virtue, punishment of vice, and (4) the exclusion of religious tolerance.
Arlington Nat'l Cemetary
A cemetery in West Virginia where many important American military personnel have been buried
A big building built to house a specific dead person. Some people consider it synonymous with 'tomb,' others think the mausoleum surrounds the tomb.
A collection of ancient Egyptian religious texts, possibly the oldest religious texts in the world
Book of the Dead
An ancient Egyptian funerary text. Contained a list of spells to help assist a dead person's journey through the underworld and to the afterlife. A number of these spells were originally Coffin Texts.
Egyptian God of Chaos, who killed Osiris. (A different Seth is Adam and Eve's yougest named son)
Goddess of mothers, fertility, and the downtrodden. Sister of Osiris who later found his pieces, resurrected him with magic, married him, and gave birth to Horus.
Egyptian concept of vital essence, it translates to "vital spark". It distinguished the difference between a living and a dead person, and death occurs when it leaves the body.
Egyptian concept of everything that made a human unique, kinda like personality. It was bird-shaped combined with 'ka' to make the soul.
Ancient Egyptian concept of truth, balance, order, law, morality, and justice. Sometimes personified as a goddess.
Opening of the Mouth
Egyptian burial custom. Involved the symbolic 'opening' of a statue's (or mummy's) mouth so that it could eat and drink in the afterlife.
Jackal -headed god associated with mummification and the afterlife. Displaced by Osiris during the Middle Kingdom.
Egyptian funerary figurines. Placed in tombs and designed to act as substitutes in case the dead guy was called upon to do manual labor in the afterlife.
Weighing of the Heart
Egyptians believed the gods would compare a dead person's heart to Ma'at, to see if the person acted in accordance with Ma'at. If they had, the person's ba and ka would be united into an akh.
Hindu ritual, usually for honoring one's dead parents. Hire "Brahmanaa" and treat them as if they are your parents: give them lots of food and pinda, wash their feet, and pay them fees.
The Christian messiah, believed to be the one who will resurrect his chosen people after the apocalypse
sheep and goats
At Judgment, God will separate the good from the bad, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats.
According to Islam, the intermediate state where the soul is transferred through across the boundaries of the mortal realm into a kind of ''cold sleep'' where the soul will rest until the Qiyamma.
The point where organic matter has reached a point of stability, and will break down no longer.
The smallest scale of existence, subatomic particles or generic small things. Shares patterns with the macrocosm.
The largest scale of existence, universes and the concept of matter. Shares patterns with the microcosm.
When different species share similar structures. For example, the arm bones of humans, cats, bats, and whales.
Differing opinions of time. With linear, the universe was created and will eventually die. In cyclic, the universe either restarts or rewinds, and continues again.
Religion based off of the teachings of Zarathustra. The creator Ahura Mazda is all good, and evil emanates from a different source and only tries to destroy what Ahura Mazda has created.
Water - blood
Plants - hair
Earth - flesh and bone
Fire - energy
Wind - life breath
According to the Wemale tribes of Seram, a "coconut girl" who could excrete valuables. The villagers killed her and out of her remains grew the tuberous plants (aka yams) the Seram live off of.
Myth of Er
Story by Plato that ends his Republic. A soldier named Er sees the afterlife and reincarnates. Introduced the idea that moral people are rewarded and immoral people punished after death.
Good source of potassium. Extremely important as a source of food, religious worship, and economic hierarchy for the Wemale people.
Wemale practice wherein the families of the island would bring their biggest yam and determine their social hierarchy by whoever had the largest
Work by Plato. Depicting the death of Socrates, it explores the concept of afterlife and introduces Plato's concept of forms.
According to Hinduism, each person is born with three debts: (1) Dedicate ones life to the service of God, (2) debt to sages and saints, (3) debt to ancestors
"hungry ghosts", usually jealous or greedy people who are now dead. Appear in Buddhist and Hindu texts. Can also refer to souls in general
According to Hindu texts, the river that separates the earth and the infernal world. It is the realm of Yama, the god of death.
A holy city to Hindus, buddhists, and Jains, located in India on the banks of the River Ganges.
A Hindu ritual performed on the 12th day after someone's death. It allows a deceased's preta to enter the world of the ancestors known as pitrloka.
Rite of the Skull
Hindu ritual. After burning a corpse, the skull is cracked open with a long stick, usually of bamboo. It releases the soul from entrapment in the body.
Persons of religious importance. They usually know the sacred rituals and perform them during public religious ceremonies.
Mythological Greek musician. Failed to rescue his wife from hell and was later torn apart by Maenads. Many cults sprang up around the character.
Mysteries or "mystery religions"
religions which would keep their practices and texts secret, told only to initiates. We don't really know what most of them did due to the inherent concept
A different cult that opposed the Orpheics. Liked reaching enlightenment through animalistic methods, such as eating raw meat and blood orgies.
Huge beings which included Zeus' father Chronos. Zeus locked them up and took over with the Olympic gods.
The opposite of amnesia. It's where you remember something you'd previously forgot. Forewarned philosophers could do it after reincarnating.
Demon. Good or bad supernatural beings between mortals and gods, such as inferior divinities and ghosts of dead heroes.
A place in a sanctuary where you prepare the bread and wine for the Eucharist (that ceremony where you commemorate Jesus)
In Buddhism, the complete abandonment physical pleasures. The benefit, now cannot feel physical pain or loss, since one has accepted that his body is just a casket that he will shed upon death and reincarnation.
The third state of being one can achieve while alive (the others are awake and sleeping).
A circular art system use by Hindu and Buddhist religious art. A quartered circle with a smaller circle in the center, like those handheld "Simon Says" games.
The six intermediate states between birth and nirvana/reincarnation. Tibetan Buddhism says there are six, and the first one encapsulates birth to death
Symbolic representation of the cycle of life and death that all beings participate in. According to Buddhists, the Buddha himself designed it
When a dead body is buried and its clear the living showed care for the person dead. There's proof the Neanderthals did this.
A chest, building, well, or site made to serve as the final resting place for lots and lots of human skeletal remains. Used when there isn't much space available to bury generations of dead.