Go to Hell! Why does this phrase still scare or insult us? What is Hell? Often, it is described as a fiery pit presided over by a pitchfork wielding devil who watches gleefully as capering demons torment the souls of the damned. Though this particular image stems from more Christian-oriented descriptions of Hell, the idea of Hell itself is not specific to Christianity. Many cultures and religious traditions talk about an afterlife wherein the souls of the wicked are punished for their earthly misdeeds. The threat of Hell has been used for thousands of years to encourage things such as proper social behavior and faithfulness to a particular religious tradition and while some may disregard these threats as antiquated superstition, Hell nonetheless continues to loom large in the popular imagination. Whether through Hieronymous Bosch’s nightmarish paintings the Robot Hell from Futurama or simply the use of phrases like ‘...is my personal hell’ most people have an understanding of Hell as a place of suffering.
Join Brew Theology on episode 78 (Part 1 of 2) when Ryan, Janel, Dillon and Diana have a bit too much fun brewing up some hell theology, and discussing the variety of viewpoints from different religious traditions.
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