The Resurrection of Jesus Christ, ca. 1465, by Piero della Francesca (Civic Museum of Sansepolcro)
Issues of death, dying, and the meaning of life—and the afterlife—hold key places in the belief systems of the major religious traditions of the world. Graham M. Schweig, a professor of philosophy and religion at Christopher Newport University, surveys differing visions of these themes from a variety of Eastern and Western cultural perspectives. Stories, teachings, and rituals from the major faiths, as well as contemporary interpretations, are examined to illuminate the ultimate life event: death.
9:30–10:45 a.m. Overview: Comparative Religions and Life After Death
What is religion? And what is the role of death, dying, and the afterlife in world religions? Explore these topics as well as conceptions of the soul and the human struggle for purpose and meaning among the three major global religious systems.
11 a.m.–12:15 p.m. Semitic Traditions
Visions of death and the afterlife from the ancient Middle Eastern traditions, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam: key figures and tenets.
12:15–1:30 p.m. Lunch (participants provide their own).
1:30–2:45 p.m. East Asian Traditions
Conceptions of death and the afterlife in Confucianism, Taoism, Shinto, and Buddhism.
3–4:15 p.m. South Asian Traditions and Modern Reflections
Hinduism, Jainism, and Sikhism are examined, as well as contemporary interpretations of themes on death, dying, and the afterlife.