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Heaven and Hell: Ancient Ideas about the Afterlife (encore)

November 5, 2020 @ 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm

A Distinguished Scholar Webinar featuring Bart D. Ehrman

According to the most recent Pew Research Poll, 72 percent of all Americans believe in a literal heaven as a place of eternal blessing for departed souls, while 58 percent believe in a literal hell and its eternal torments. Although Christians have believed these ideas for centuries, they are not taught in the Old Testament or in the teachings of the historical Jesus. So where did they come from? Were they simply invented? In this webinar, acclaimed scholar Bart Ehrman will examine views of the afterlife from the Ancient Near East, Greek, and Roman cultures, the Hebrew Bible, the New Testament, and the early centuries of the church, showing where the ideas of paradise and hell came from and how they became a dominant religious view in the West.

Bart D. Ehrman, James A. Gray Professor of Religious Studies, is the author or editor of more than 30 books, including the forthcoming Heaven and Hell: A History of the Afterlife.


Thursday, November 5 at 5:00 pm

Death After Death in Homer and the Old Testament

Thursday, November 5 at 7:00 pm

Justice in the World to Come Among Greeks and Jews

Friday, November 6 at 5:00 pm

Did Jesus, Paul, or the Book of Revelation Believe in Heaven and Hell?

Friday, November 6 at 7:00 pm

The Birth of Heaven and Hell in the Early Christian Church


This webinar is a virtual event. Tuition is $40, which includes “admission” to the webinar in real time (with live Q&A). Registrants will receive instructions for accessing the event online by the morning of November 5.

**Save money by purchasing a season pass to all 5 fall webinars for only $150 ($125 for GAA members).**


Register here or call us at 919.962.1544.

Online registration closes at midnight the night before the event. For same-day registration, please call our office at 919.962.1544.


Co-Sponsored by the General Alumni Association.

For information about GAA discounts and other scholarships available to Humanities Program participants, click here.

Tuition is complimentary for any currently teaching, full time K-12 teachers. If you’re eligible, click here to register. Complimentary teacher registration closes one hour before the start of the event.



November 5, 2020
5:00 pm - 8:00 pm