Compare and contrast the Christian and Pantheistic views of the afterlife.

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The space here on enotes will not be enough to sufficiently answer the question.  I also believe that such a topic generates more questions than answers and this needs to be accepted as part of the exploration. I would also suggest that stronger definition in terms of identification of different elements of Pantheism would be beneficial.  Pantheism is seen in many different forms of worship.  These modes have different understandings of the afterlife and specificity would illuminate more.  I tend to think that one significant parallel between both the Christian mode of worship and the pantheist would be that there is something more.  Neither religion is able to accept death as a finality.  There is more in that death is seen as a door, or portal, to something else and another realm where the world of the mundane living cannot fully comprehend.  This, the life we lead, is not it, in both spiritual explorations.  

Of course, this is where the greatest difference is found.  For the Christian, the notion of judgment from the divine is evident.  This rests in the notion that some rendering of one's life on Earth is assessed based on what was lived and how one is judged.  The Pantheistic understanding differs from this and this is where the specifying a particular brand of worship would help immensely.  Religions with pantheistic elements such as Hinduism and Buddhism suggest that there is further evolution that the soul must undergo. For this reason, the afterlife is one in which rebirth and the continual evolution of the soul or spirit is evident.  Within both conceptions of the afterlife, there is significant difference, while there is agreement that the life we lead on Earth is not the only construction of consciousness.

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