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A Juridical Dissection of Hell

Anno XXXIV, n. 148, gennaio-febbraio 1999
Centro Einaudi


Testo disponibile solo in lingua inglese.
The hell referred to in this essay is largely a Catholic one, the only hell – final reconciliation (apocatastasis) apart – formally defined as eternal. It clashes with the universally accepted principles of justice and law and is a failure from the pedagogic, ethical, communicative-interpersonal and eudemonistic points of view. This implies that the thesis of the authoritativeness of papal utterances on the faith is unacceptable and drastically re-evaluates Jesus’s teachings as reported in the Gospels. The solutions triggered by the hermeneutic virtuosity of theologists are devoid of intellectual probity. The author also criticises the existentialist theory which explains the eternity of hell as an irrevocable decision taken by the soul in God’s presence. The essay presents a conception of hell which is less scandalous than the Catholic one, but which fails to solve all the problems relating to divine justice. It ends by asking the reader to recover a feeling of reality "whereby a forest is realer than a baptism, and immaterial people and their activities are unlikely objects of thought".

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