Spiritual death

The concept of spiritual death has varying meanings in various uses and contexts.


In Christian theology, spiritual death is separation from God caused by sin.[1]


Buddhadasa called duḥkha spiritual death.[2] Sangharakshita uses the term "spiritual death" to describe one stage in a system of meditation, where insight is gained into delusions about our existence.[3]

Other views

Followers of Ascended Master movements such as the Theosophical Society, I AM Foundation, and Elizabeth Clare Prophet have a different definition of the second death, the final extinguishing of the identity of a soul deemed by God to be beyond redemption. In this theology, people are believed to continue to reincarnate for many lifetimes on Earth with one of two final outcomes: 1) Reunion with God in the ritual of the Ascension, like Jesus, or 2) Final judgment at the "court of the sacred fire," where the soul would be destroyed forever.[citation needed]

The Unification Church teaches that spiritual death is the state of separation from God, but that it is not ever irreversible.[citation needed]

Secular usage

Social science

John B. Calhoun saw the social breakdown of a population of mice given ample resources as a second death. He saw this as a metaphor for the potential fate of man in an overcrowded but resource rich environment and made reference to the second death of the Book of Revelation.[4] Conservative Christian writers, such as Bill Perkins, have echoed this warning.[5]

Famous quotes

In his famous anti-war address "Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence," delivered 4 April 1967 at a meeting of Clergy and Laity Concerned at Riverside Church in New York City, Martin Luther King Jr. observed that "[a] nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death."

See also


External links

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