Full Text



Subject Religion

Key-Topics afterlife, belief

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405185394.2011.x


Orthodoxy teaches two judgments: “particular” and “general” or “Last Judgment.” Particular judgment occurs immediately after death (Lk. 16.19–31; 23.43) The newly departed experience either a foretaste of the eternal blessedness promised to the righteous at the Last Judgment, or a foretaste of punishment if there has been incomplete or no repentance of sin before death. The Last Judgment will occur at the second, glorious coming of Christ, when he will resurrect the dead. The effect of this judgment will be eternal. Plate 38  The western outside wall of the 16th-century church at Voronets, Romania, depicting the Doomsday. The golden gate depicts the entrance to Paradise guarded by an Archangel. Photo by John McGuckin. The subject of judgment is not limited to these two critical moments, but is pervasive in Orthodox thought, finding its strongest expression in the ascetical writings. There are two notable features, which appear, at first, contradictory. The first is the insistence that God's judgments are designed for healing and regeneration, not for retribution: He takes “no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn back from his way and live” (Ezek. 33.11, cf. St. Basil the Great 1987: 338). The second is the call frequently to bring to mind death and judgment. Liturgically and iconographically, judgment is remembered in vivid scriptural images of hell-fire, ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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