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2. Views on Post-Mortem Existence Prior to the Reformation

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Chapter Summary

This chapter includes a brief bird's-eye view of the eschatological ideas that have influenced the debate between Tyndale and Joye to illustrate and position the debate on the fate of the dead, and its broader ideological context within the 16th century. In views of post-mortem beliefs in the Middle Ages and in the Renaissance, one can observe that theologians were not the only ones to show interest in the subject; philosophers and lay people also manifested concerns. Various positions were formulated: while philosophers concentrated on the metaphysical aspects of the post-mortem existence, the lay people and popular heterodox movements were concerned with the practical aspects of such beliefs. Thomas Aquinas constituted a balanced mix of orthodoxy and orthopraxis formulated in the language of the philosophy of his time based on Aristotle's writings. The official pronouncements of the Church show an incorporation of his theological language and the Aristotelian philosophy.

Keywords: Aristotelian philosophy; eschatological ideas; George Joye; heterodox movements; metaphysical aspects; Middle Ages; post-mortem existence; Renaissance; Thomas Aquinas; William Tyndale



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