Religion Past and Present

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Underworld, Journey to the
(470 words)

[German Version]

Journeys to the underworld fall within the category of journeys to the hereafter, classically as catabasis, “descent,” in Christianity as Christ’s Descensus ad inferos or descent into hell. The journey to the underworld, usually reserved to a god or hero, is undertaken to bring an individual back from the dead, to overcome the powers of the underworld, or to gain information about the world of the hereafter and the life to come (Eternal life). Mythological accounts presuppose a tripartite cosmos (Worldview; see also Hell). Ancient Near Eastern examples includ…

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Felber, Anneliese, “Underworld, Journey to the”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 23 July 2024 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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