Hell and Heaven

By Ghasem Bayat

First presented at the Irfan Colloquia Session #88
Bosch Bahá'í School: Santa Cruz, California, USA
May 28 – June 1, 2009
(see list of papers from #88)

    The concepts of Resurrection, Heaven and Hell and Purgatory are rooted in the ancient belief systems of most religious traditions of the world. Some of these concepts are to be found with significant contradictions in names, descriptions and implications amongst various nations.

    In this article, a pertinent review is offered from the religious texts of the followers of the Hindu, Buddhist, Zoroastrian, Jewish, Christian and Islamic Faiths that will show how the resulting images are at odds with the concept of Justice of God and man today. Examples will be offered of believers in these faiths who are distancing themselves from those ideas and their efforts to present them in a new form.

    Lastly, these concepts will be presented in detail from the Bábí and Bahá'í Writings, and will be compared to the old beliefs. It would become immediately obvious that although the Writings use the same old names in referring to those beliefs, yet the concepts that are introduced are refreshingly new and appealing. This would demonstrate the ability of these new concepts to form the basis of a new human consciousness and behavior that can unite all in mind, spirit and action.

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