A short history of the afterlife

A Short history of the Afterlife is a fast-paced mini-documentary (3.10 mins) which asks some big questions illustrated by perspectives and snippets from the history of religions. Is death the end? Is there any evidence for an afterlife? Is death a consequence of sin, but with hope of a risen life, as Christians say? Or is it all about karma leading to rebirth, as Buddhists believe?

Classroom suggestion:

a) Ask students to analyse and compare the Christian and the Hindu approach to an afterlife. Provide a structure so that students can chart the key ideas involved in belief heaven and belief in reincarnation. Ask them to make a list of the things that they think would lead to ‘good karma’ or ‘bad karma’. Suggest they aim for 10 in each list.

Link to Resource

For more ideas:

  • Questions in RE: Ways of Living, edStephen Pett, includes a section of activities on exploring how a person’s way of life can be affected by an encounter with death. Christianity and atheism is the focus. This publication is available online from RE Today; further details are available here.