Where did ancient Egyptians hope to end up after death?
The Field of Rushes served as a heaven for the ancient Egyptians, though they were forced to travel through a dangerous underworld to get there.
Who ruled over the underworld in ancient Egyptian culture?
Osiris was not only chief god and judge in the underworld, but also a powerful symbol of eternal life for the Egyptians.
How many divine judges did the ancient Egyptians face in the underworld?
The Egyptians were forced to plead their innocence before 42 divine judges if they hoped to gain entry into the Field of Rushes.
True or false: The supplies in Egyptian tombs were mostly offerings to the gods.
The ancient Egyptians stocked their tombs with things they needed in the afterlife. King Tut, for example, had his foldable camping bed placed in his tomb so he could sleep comfortably while traveling after death.
True or false: The Egyptians believed that the soul continued to exist after death.
The whole purpose behind mummification was to keep the body intact so that the soul — which survived beyond death — could occupy the body once more.
How many people were mummified in Egypt?
An estimated 70 million people were mummified in Egypt over a 3,000 year period.
Where did the Mesopotamians believe the netherworld was located?
The Mesopotamians believed the netherworld was underground, right below the surface of the earth for easy access.
How did the Mesopotamians picture the afterlife?
In ancient Mesopotamia, people believed that the afterlife was just a duller version of life on Earth — not too bad, not too great.
Who was the Greek god of the underworld?
In Greek mythology, Hades and his wife Persephone reigned over the spirits or "shades" of the underworld.
True or false: Scientists have proven that the soul weighs 21 grams (0.7 ounce).
The experiment that this figure is based on reflects a sample size of four — not much of a sample for a science-based study.
What happens to people who experience a Tibetan sky burial?
In this Buddhist custom, a dead body is left out for the vultures so that everything is returned to Earth.
Which of these religions in most closely associated with Purgatory?
Catholics generally believe that most people go to Purgatory to purge or purify their souls before entering heaven.
How did Jesus ensure an afterlife for Christians?
Christians believe that the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus ensures an afterlife for people of that faith.
What do Christians believe will occur during the second coming?
In the Christian faith, Jesus will return to Earth and resurrect the dead during the second coming.
True or false: One tenet of Judaism states that the soul leaves the body every time a person goes to sleep.
People of the Jewish faith often believe that the soul leaves the body during sleep and travels to heaven to recharge before re-entering the body.
Where did ancient Jewish scholars believe that all souls went after death?
At the time of the scriptures, those of the Jewish faith believed that all souls traveled to a dark place called Sheol, where they stayed for all eternity.
What is the modern term for "hell" in the Jewish religion?
In the modern Jewish faith, souls can go to hell (Gehenna) or heaven (Gan Eden) after the final judgement.
Muslims believe that all dead will remain in the grave until the Day of Resurrection.
In Islam, all dead remain in the grave until the Day of Resurrection, which is also known as the Day of Judgement or the Last Hour.
What is the Muslim equivalent of heaven?
Jannah is the Islamic paradise, where those who Allah deems worthy will travel after death.
True or false: Your final resting place in Islamic culture depends on both actions and intentions.
Your place in paradise or the hell known as Jahannam depends on both your actions and the intentions behind them if you are part of the Muslim faith.
What do Hindus call the spirit, or soul?
In the Hindu faith, the atman, or spirit, is permanent and enduring, while the body is impermanent.
How many times can you be reborn in the Hindu religion?
The process of reincarnation, known as samsara, can occur indefinitely in the Hindu religion.
True or false: The true goal of reincarnation for Hindus is to never stop being reborn for all eternity.
Hindus aim to reach the ultimate release, known as moksha, when the soul is finally free from rebirth.
True or false: Karma from your past lives can affect your soul during reincarnation in the Hindu faith.
For Hindus, it's not just your karma in your most recent life that affects your path, but also karma from past lives.
True or false: Suicide in the elderly or infirm can be viewed as holy to some people of the Hindu faith.
While suicide for depression is not accepted, suicide by the elderly or ill is acceptable and even viewed as a holy act.
What stage do Buddhists hope to reach?
The ultimate level of enlightenment and end of the reincarnation process for Buddhists occurs when a soul reaches nirvana.
True or false: Buddhists believe that an individual's soul is permanent and unchanging.
In Buddhism, there is no constant that continues to exist after death the way a soul persists in other faiths.
How many forms of life are there according to people who practice Sikhism?
Sikhs believe in 8.4 million different life forms, which many people have to travel through as they are reincarnated before they can join God.
What do those of the Sikh faith call freedom from reincarnation?
In Sikhism, freedom from the cycle of reincarnation is known as mukti.
How many Americans believe that they have had a near-death experience?
An estimated 8 million Americans believe that they have had a near-death experience, which often involves "stepping into the light" or experiencing heaven.
What happens when you die? Well, it depends on who you ask. Take our quiz to see how much you know about how different cultures and religions handle the mysteries of the afterlife.
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