Sacramentum Mundi Online

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(1,186 words)

Belief in survival after death seems to go very far back into prehistory. Funeral rites of the late paleolithic age (deposits of arms and food, red ochre) leave little doubt as to the existence of a conception of the “living corpse”, such as is to be found amongst many primitive peoples, as well as in the popular mind in advanced cultures possessing a more elaborate form of eschatology. The special value attached to the cranium implies perhaps the localization in the head of the faculties essent…

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Humbert Cornélis, “Afterlife”, in: Sacramentum Mundi Online, General Editor Karl Rahner, SJ. Consulted online on 21 September 2023 <>
First published online: 2016

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