Title: The Ancient Egyptian Books of the Afterlife

What happens to the human personality after death?  Does it dissolve as do the molecules of the body, back into the star stuff we are made of?  Does some part of us, a soul, a spirit, survive death?  The Ancient Egyptians pondered these issues and formed elaborate and intricate theories of what happens after death.  Throughout the long ages of their culture, ideas changed, and the location of the Afterlife changed:  Underworld, or Heaven above, or somehow both ?  Their thoughts on the nature of the surviving aspect of a human being changed, too.  Would the spirits of the dead recognize each other?  Would the human pleasures of eating and drinking and making love still exist?  Who would be on the Other Side to greet us?  Was there, perhaps, another, final death to come, a complete annihilation in the far future?  Whatever the Afterlife was like, the idea of a life after death remained always at the centre of their culture.

In this course, we will consider some of the evidence for Ancient Egyptian beliefs about the Afterlife.  The four sessions will introduce you to basic Egyptian ideas of the life, the universe, and everything. Then we’ll go on to consider the Pyramid Tests and Coffin Texts, before turning our focus onto the Book of the Dead and the Books of the Royal Underworld.   Our adventures will be illuminated by the fragments of material culture – coffins, wall paintings, books, statues and amulets – that remain as evidence of Ancient Egyptian philosophy and religion.

Teacher:  Gayle Gibson – Contact me at amenirdis2@aol.com for more information.

When: Wednesdays 7-9 pm,   

November 6, 13, 20 and 27

Cost:  $100 for SSEA Members, $125 for non-members. 

Pay online or bring your cheque to the first class.  $25 pay-as you go for members.

Where?  Rm. 200B, 4 Bancroft Ave., Toronto

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