Hell

In religion and folklore, Hell is an afterlife location, sometimes a place of torment and punishment. Religions with a linear divine history often depict hells as eternal destinations while religions with a cyclic history often depict a hell as an intermediary period between incarnations. Typically these traditions locate hell in another dimension or under the Earth's surface and often include entrances to Hell from the land of the living. Other afterlife destinations include Heaven, Purgatory, Paradise, and Limbo.

Other traditions, which do not conceive of the afterlife as a place of punishment or reward, merely describe Hell as an abode of the dead, the grave, a neutral place located under the surface of Earth (for example, see Sheol and Hades).

Hell-fresco-from-Raduil
Hell – detail from a fresco in the medieval church of St Nicholas in Raduil, Bulgaria

Etymology

Hel (1889) by Johannes Gehrts
Hel (1889) by Johannes Gehrts, depicts the Old Norse Hel, a goddess-like figure, in the location of the same name, which she oversees

The modern English word hell is derived from Old English hel, helle (first attested around 725 AD to refer to a nether world of the dead) reaching into the Anglo-Saxon pagan period.[1] The word has cognates in all branches of the Germanic languages, including Old Norse hel (which refers to both a location and goddess-like being in Norse mythology), Old Frisian helle, Old Saxon hellia, Old High German hella, and Gothic halja. All forms ultimately derive from the reconstructed Proto-Germanic feminine noun *xaljō or *haljō ('concealed place, the underworld'). In turn, the Proto-Germanic form derives from the o-grade form of the Proto-Indo-European root *kel-, *kol-: 'to cover, conceal, save'.[2] Indo-European cognates including Latin cēlāre ("to hide", related to the English word cellar) and early Irish ceilid ("hides"). Upon the Christianization of the Germanic peoples, extension of Proto-Germanic *xaljō were reinterpreted to denote the underworld in Christian mythology,[1][3] for which see Gehenna.

Related early Germanic terms and concepts include Proto-Germanic *xalja-rūnō(n), a feminine compound noun, and *xalja-wītjan, a neutral compound noun. This form is reconstructed from the Latinized Gothic plural noun *haliurunnae (attested by Jordanes; according to philologist Vladimir Orel, meaning 'witches'), Old English helle-rúne ('sorceress, necromancer', according to Orel), and Old High German helli-rūna 'magic'. The compound is composed of two elements: *xaljō (*haljō) and *rūnō, the Proto-Germanic precursor to Modern English rune.[4] The second element in the Gothic haliurunnae may however instead be an agent noun from the verb rinnan ("to run, go"), which would make its literal meaning "one who travels to the netherworld".[5][6]

Proto-Germanic *xalja-wītjan (or *halja-wītjan) is reconstructed from Old Norse hel-víti 'hell', Old English helle-wíte 'hell-torment, hell', Old Saxon helli-wīti 'hell', and the Middle High German feminine noun helle-wīze. The compound is a compound of *xaljō (discussed above) and *wītjan (reconstructed from forms such as Old English witt 'right mind, wits', Old Saxon gewit 'understanding', and Gothic un-witi 'foolishness, understanding').[7]

Religion, mythology, and folklore

Hell appears in several mythologies and religions. It is commonly inhabited by demons and the souls of dead people. A fable about Hell which recurs in folklore across several cultures is the allegory of the long spoons. Hell is often depicted in art and literature, perhaps most famously in Dante's Divine Comedy.

Punishment

Punishment in Hell typically corresponds to sins committed during life. Sometimes these distinctions are specific, with damned souls suffering for each sin committed (see for example Plato's myth of Er or Dante's The Divine Comedy), but sometimes they are general, with condemned sinners relegated to one or more chamber of Hell or to a level of suffering.

In many religious cultures, including Christianity and Islam, Hell is often depicted as fiery, painful, and harsh, inflicting suffering on the guilty. Despite these common depictions of Hell as a place of fire, some other traditions portray Hell as cold. Buddhist - and particularly Tibetan Buddhist - descriptions of Hell feature an equal number of hot and cold Hells. Among Christian descriptions Dante's Inferno portrays the innermost (9th) circle of Hell as a frozen lake of blood and guilt.[8] But cold also played a part in earlier Christian depictions of Hell, beginning with the Apocalypse of Paul, originally from the early third century;[9] the "Vision of Dryhthelm" by the Venerable Bede from the seventh century;[10] "St Patrick's Purgatory", "The Vision of Tundale" or "Visio Tnugdali", and the "Vision of the Monk of Eynsham", all from the twelfth century;[11] and the "Vision of Thurkill" from the early thirteenth century.[12]

Polytheism

Ancient Mesopotamia

Dumuzi aux enfers
Ancient Sumerian cylinder seal impression showing the god Dumuzid being tortured in the Underworld by galla demons

The Sumerian afterlife was a dark, dreary cavern located deep below the ground,[13] where inhabitants were believed to continue "a shadowy version of life on earth".[13] This bleak domain was known as Kur,[14]:114 and was believed to be ruled by the goddess Ereshkigal.[13][15]:184 All souls went to the same afterlife,[13] and a person's actions during life had no effect on how the person would be treated in the world to come.[13]

The souls in Kur were believed to eat nothing but dry dust[14]:58 and family members of the deceased would ritually pour libations into the dead person's grave through a clay pipe, thereby allowing the dead to drink.[14]:58 Nonetheless, funerary evidence indicates that some people believed that the goddess Inanna, Ereshkigal's younger sister, had the power to award her devotees with special favors in the afterlife.[13][16] During the Third Dynasty of Ur, it was believed that a person's treatment in the afterlife depended on how he or she was buried;[14]:58 those that had been given sumptuous burials would be treated well,[14]:58 but those who had been given poor burials would fare poorly.[14]:58

The entrance to Kur was believed to be located in the Zagros mountains in the far east.[14]:114 It had seven gates, through which a soul needed to pass.[13] The god Neti was the gatekeeper.[15]:184[14]:86 Ereshkigal's sukkal, or messenger, was the god Namtar.[14]:134[15]:184 Galla were a class of demons that were believed to reside in the underworld;[14]:85 their primary purpose appears to have been to drag unfortunate mortals back to Kur.[14]:85 They are frequently referenced in magical texts,[14]:85–86 and some texts describe them as being seven in number.[14]:85–86 Several extant poems describe the galla dragging the god Dumuzid into the underworld.[14]:86 The later Mesopotamians knew this underworld by its East Semitic name: Irkalla. During the Akkadian Period, Ereshkigal's role as the ruler of the underworld was assigned to Nergal, the god of death.[13][15]:184 The Akkadians attempted to harmonize this dual rulership of the underworld by making Nergal Ereshkigal's husband.[13]

Ancient Egypt

Weighing of the heart3
In this ~1275 BC Book of the Dead scene the dead scribe Hunefer's heart is weighed on the scale of Maat against the feather of truth, by the canine-headed Anubis. The ibis-headed Thoth, scribe of the gods, records the result. If his heart is lighter than the feather, Hunefer is allowed to pass into the afterlife. If not, he is eaten by the crocodile-headed Ammit.[17]

With the rise of the cult of Osiris during the Middle Kingdom the "democratization of religion" offered to even his humblest followers the prospect of eternal life, with moral fitness becoming the dominant factor in determining a person's suitability. At death a person faced judgment by a tribunal of forty-two divine judges. If they had led a life in conformance with the precepts of the Goddess Maat, who represented truth and right living, the person was welcomed into the heavenly reed fields. If found guilty the person was thrown to Ammit, the "devourer of the dead" and would be condemned to the lake of fire.[18] The person taken by the devourer is subject first to terrifying punishment and then annihilated. These depictions of punishment may have influenced medieval perceptions of the inferno in hell via early Christian and Coptic texts.[19] Purification for those considered justified appears in the descriptions of "Flame Island", where humans experience the triumph over evil and rebirth. For the damned complete destruction into a state of non-being awaits but there is no suggestion of eternal torture; the weighing of the heart in Egyptian mythology can lead to annihilation.[20][21] The Tale of Khaemwese describes the torment of a rich man, who lacked charity, when he dies and compares it to the blessed state of a poor man who has also died.[22] Divine pardon at judgement always remained a central concern for the Ancient Egyptians.[23]

Modern understanding of Egyptian notions of hell relies on six ancient texts:[24]

  1. The Book of Two Ways (Book of the Ways of Rosetau)
  2. The Book of Amduat (Book of the Hidden Room, Book of That Which Is in the Underworld)
  3. The Book of Gates
  4. The Book of the Dead (Book of Going Forth by Day)
  5. The Book of the Earth
  6. The Book of Caverns

Greek

In classic Greek mythology, below Heaven, Earth, and Pontus is Tartarus, or Tartaros (Greek Τάρταρος, deep place). It is either a deep, gloomy place, a pit or abyss used as a dungeon of torment and suffering that resides within Hades (the entire underworld) with Tartarus being the hellish component. In the Gorgias, Plato (c. 400 BC) wrote that souls were judged after death and those who received punishment were sent to Tartarus. As a place of punishment, it can be considered a hell. The classic Hades, on the other hand, is more similar to Old Testament Sheol.

Europe

The hells of Europe include Breton mythology's "Anaon", Celtic mythology's "Uffern", Slavic mythology's "Peklo", the hell of Sami mythology and Finnish "tuonela" ("manala").

Asia

The hells of Asia include the Bagobo "Gimokodan" and Ancient Indian mythology's "Kalichi" or "Naraka".

In folklore among the Ainu people, hell is below ground, and is described as an uninviting wet place reserved for sinful people.[25]

Also Diyu, Daoist Hell.

Africa

African hells include Haida mythology's Hetgwauge and the Hell of Swahili mythology (kuzimu).[26] Serer religion rejects the general notion of heaven and hell.[27] In Serer religion, acceptance by the ancestors who have long departed is as close to any heaven as one can get. Rejection and becoming a wandering soul is a sort of hell for one passing over. The souls of the dead must make their way to Jaaniw (the sacred dwelling place of the soul). Only those who have lived their lives on earth in accordance with Serer doctrines will be able to make this necessary journey and thus accepted by the ancestors. Those who can't make the journey become lost and wandering souls, but they do not burn in "hell fire".[27][28]

Native American

The hells of the Americas include the Aztec religion's Mictlan, Inuit religion's Adlivun, and the Yanomami religion's Shobari Waka. In Mayan religion, Xibalba (or Metnal) is the dangerous underworld of nine levels. The road into and out of it is said to be steep, thorny and very forbidding. Ritual healers would intone healing prayers banishing diseases to Xibalba. Much of the Popol Vuh describes the adventures of the Maya Hero Twins in their cunning struggle with the evil lords of Xibalba.

The Aztecs believed that the dead traveled to Mictlan, a neutral place found far to the north. There was also a legend of a place of white flowers, which was always dark, and was home to the gods of death, particularly Mictlantecutli and his spouse Mictlantecihuatl, which means literally "lords of Mictlan". The journey to Mictlan took four years, and the travelers had to overcome difficult tests, such as passing a mountain range where the mountains crashed into each other, a field where the wind carried flesh-scraping knives, and a river of blood with fearsome jaguars.

Abrahamic religions

Hell is viewed by most Abrahamic traditions as a place of or a form of punishment.[29]

Judaism

Early Judaism had no concept of Hell, although the concept of an afterlife was introduced during the Hellenistic period, apparently from neighboring Hellenistic religions. It occurs for example in the Book of Daniel. Daniel 12:2 proclaims "And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, Some to everlasting life, Some to shame and everlasting contempt."

Judaism does not have a specific doctrine about the afterlife, but it does have a mystical/Orthodox tradition of describing Gehinnom. Gehinnom is not Hell, but originally a grave and in later times a sort of Purgatory where one is judged based on one's life's deeds, or rather, where one becomes fully aware of one's own shortcomings and negative actions during one's life. The Kabbalah explains it as a "waiting room" (commonly translated as an "entry way") for all souls (not just the wicked). The overwhelming majority of rabbinic thought maintains that people are not in Gehinnom forever; the longest that one can be there is said to be 12 months, however there has been the occasional noted exception. Some consider it a spiritual forge where the soul is purified for its eventual ascent to Olam Habah (heb. עולם הבא; lit. "The world to come", often viewed as analogous to heaven). This is also mentioned in the Kabbalah, where the soul is described as breaking, like the flame of a candle lighting another: the part of the soul that ascends being pure and the "unfinished" piece being reborn.

According to Jewish teachings, hell is not entirely physical; rather, it can be compared to a very intense feeling of shame. People are ashamed of their misdeeds and this constitutes suffering which makes up for the bad deeds. When one has so deviated from the will of God, one is said to be in Gehinnom. This is not meant to refer to some point in the future, but to the very present moment. The gates of teshuva (return) are said to be always open, and so one can align his will with that of God at any moment. Being out of alignment with God's will is itself a punishment according to the Torah.

Many scholars of Jewish mysticism, particularly of the Kabbalah, make mention of seven "compartments" or "habitations" of Hell, just as there are seven divisions of Heaven. These divisions go by many different names, and the most frequently mentioned are as follows:[30]

Besides those mentioned above, there also exist additional terms that have been often used to either refer to Hell in general or to some region of the underworld:

  • Azazel (Hebrew: עֲזָאזֵל, compd. of ez עֵז: "goat" + azal אָזַל: "to go away" — "goat of departure", "scapegoat"; "entire removal", "damnation")
  • Dudael (Hebrew: דּוּדָאֵל — lit. "cauldron of God")
  • Tehom (Hebrew: תְהוֹם — "abyss"; "sea", "deep ocean")[31]
  • Tophet (Hebrew: תֹּפֶת or תוֹפֶת, Topheth — "fire-place", "place of burning", "place to be spit upon"; "inferno")[32][33]
  • Tzoah Rotachat (Hebrew: צוֹאָה רוֹתֵחַת, Tsoah Rothachath — "boiling excrement")[34]
  • Mashchit (Hebrew: מַשְׁחִית, Mashchith — "destruction", "ruin")
  • Dumah (Hebrew: דוּמָה — "silence")
  • Neshiyyah (Hebrew: נְשִׁיָּה — "oblivion", "Limbo")
  • Bor Shaon (Hebrew: בּוֹר שָׁאוֹן — "cistern of sound")
  • Eretz Tachtit (Hebrew: אֶרֶץ תַּחְתִּית, Erets Tachtith — "lowest earth").[35][36]
  • Masak Mavdil (Hebrew: מָסָך מַבְדִּ֔יל, Masak Mabdil — "dividing curtain")
  • Haguel (Ethiopic: ሀጉለ — "(place of) destruction", "loss", "waste")[37]
  • Ikisat (Ethiopic: አክይስት — "serpents", "dragons"; "place of future punishment")[38][39]

For more information, see Qliphoth.

Christianity

Valley of Hinom PA180090
"Gehenna", Valley of Hinnom, 2007
Brooklyn Museum - The Bad Rich Man in Hell (Le mauvais riche dans l'Enfer) - James Tissot - overall
The parable of the Rich man and Lazarus depicting the rich man in hell asking for help to Abraham and Lazarus in heaven by James Tissot
Harrowing of hell Christ leads Adam by the hand. On scroll in border, the motto 'Entre tenir Dieu le viuelle' (f. 125) Cropped
Harrowing of hell. Christ leads Adam by the hand, c.1504
Fra Angelico 010
The Last Judgement, Hell, circa 1431, by Fra Angelico

The Christian doctrine of hell derives from passages in the New Testament. The word hell does not appear in the Greek New Testament; instead one of three words is used: the Greek words Tartarus or Hades, or the Hebrew word Gehinnom.

In the Septuagint and New Testament the authors used the Greek term Hades for the Hebrew Sheol, but often with Jewish rather than Greek concepts in mind. In the Jewish concept of Sheol, such as expressed in Ecclesiastes,[40] Sheol or Hades is a place where there is no activity. However, since Augustine, Christians have believed that the souls of those who die either rest peacefully, in the case of Christians, or are afflicted, in the case of the damned, after death until the resurrection.[41]

Hebrew OT Septuagint Greek NT times in NT Vulgate KJV NIV
שְׁאוֹל (Sheol) [42] Ἅιδης (Haïdēs)[43] ᾌδης (Ádēs)[44] x10[45] infernus[46] Hell Hades
גֵיא בֶן־הִנֹּם (Ge Hinom)[47] Εννομ (Ennom)[48] γέεννα (géenna)[49] x11[50] infernus Hell Hell
(Not applicable) (Not applicable) Ταρταρόω (Tartaróō)[51] x1 infernus Hell Hell

While these three terms are translated in the KJV as "hell" these three terms have three very different meanings.

  • Hades has similarities to the Old Testament term, Sheol as "the place of the dead" or "grave". Thus, it is used in reference to both the righteous and the wicked, since both wind up there eventually.[52]
  • Gehenna refers to the "Valley of Hinnom", which was a garbage dump outside of Jerusalem. It was a place where people burned their garbage and thus there was always a fire burning there. Bodies of those deemed to have died in sin without hope of salvation (such as people who committed suicide) were thrown there to be destroyed.[53] Gehenna is used in the New Testament as a metaphor for the final place of punishment for the wicked after the resurrection.[54]
  • Tartaróō (the verb "throw to Tartarus", used of the fall of the Titans in Illiad 14.296) occurs only once in the New Testament in II Peter 2:4, where it is parallel to the use of the noun form in 1 Enoch as the place of incarceration of the fallen angels. It mentions nothing about human souls being sent there in the afterlife.

The Roman Catholic Church defines Hell as "a state of definitive self-exclusion from communion with God and the blessed." One finds oneself in Hell as the result of dying in mortal sin without repenting and accepting God's merciful love, becoming eternally separated from him by one's own free choice[55] immediately after death.[56] In the Roman Catholic Church, many other Christian churches, such as the Baptists and Episcopalians, and some Greek Orthodox churches,[57] Hell is taught as the final destiny of those who have not been found worthy after the general resurrection and last judgment,[58][59][60] where they will be eternally punished for sin and permanently separated from God. The nature of this judgment is inconsistent with many Protestant churches teaching the saving comes from accepting Jesus Christ as their savior, while the Greek Orthodox and Catholic Churches teach that the judgment hinges on both faith and works. However, many Liberal Christians throughout Liberal Protestant and Anglican churches believe in universal reconciliation (see below) even though it might contradict more evangelical views in their denomination.[61]

Some modern Christian theologians subscribe to the doctrines of conditional immortality. Conditional immortality is the belief that the soul dies with the body and does not live again until the resurrection. As with other Jewish writings of the Second Temple period, the New Testament text distinguishes two words, both translated "Hell" in older English Bibles: Hades, "the grave", and Gehenna where God "can destroy both body and soul".[62] A minority of Christians read this to mean that neither Hades nor Gehenna are eternal but refer to the ultimate destruction of the wicked in the Lake of Fire in a consuming fire after resurrection. However, because of the Greek words used in translating from the Hebrew text has become confused with Greek myths and ideas. In the Hebrew text when people died they went to Sheol, the grave[63] and the wicked ultimately went to Gehenna which is the consuming by fire. So we see where the grave or death or eventual destruction of the wicked, was translated using Greek words that since they had no exact ones to use, became a mix of mistranslation, pagan influence, and Greek myth associated with the word, but its original meaning was simple death or the destruction of the wicked at the end.[64]

Christian mortalism is the doctrine that all men and women, including Christians, must die, and do not continue and are not conscious after death. Therefore, annihilationism includes the doctrine that "the wicked" are also destroyed rather than tormented forever in traditional "Hell" or the lake of fire. Christian mortalism and annihilationism are directly related to the doctrine of conditional immortality, the idea that a human soul is not immortal unless it is given eternal life at the second coming of Christ and resurrection of the dead.

Biblical scholars looking at the issue through the Hebrew text have denied the teaching of innate immortality.[65][66] Rejection of the immortality of the soul, and advocacy of Christian mortalism, was a feature of Protestantism since the early days of the Reformation with Martin Luther himself rejecting the traditional idea, though his view did not carry into orthodox Lutheranism. One of the most notable English opponents of the immortality of the soul was Thomas Hobbes who describes the idea as a Greek "contagion" in Christian doctrine.[67] Modern proponents of conditional immortality include some in the Anglican church such as N.T. Wright[68] and as denominations the Seventh-day Adventists, Bible Students, Jehovah's Witnesses, Christadelphians, Living Church of God, The Church of God International, and some other Protestant Christians, as well as recent Roman Catholic teaching. It is not Roman Catholic dogma that anyone is in Hell.[69] Also, the 1993 Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) seems to allow room for new understanding. In 1033 it states: 'This state of definitive self-exclusion from communion with God and the blessed is called "hell”’. Then in 1035 its use of quotation marks can imply the metaphorical nature of the description, and the words that follow are certainly open to interpretation: "... they suffer the punishments of hell, "eternal fire." The chief punishment of hell is eternal separation from God" (CCC 1035). During an Audience in 1999, Pope John Paul II commented: "images of hell that Sacred Scripture presents to us must be correctly interpreted. They show the complete frustration and emptiness of life without God. Rather than a place, hell indicates the state of those who freely and definitively separate themselves from God, the source of all life and joy." [70]

Other denominations

The Seventh-day Adventist Church's official beliefs support annihilationism.[71][72] They deny the Catholic purgatory and teach that the dead lie in the grave until they are raised for a last judgment, both the righteous and wicked await the resurrection at the Second Coming. Seventh-day Adventists believe that death is a state of unconscious sleep until the resurrection. They base this belief on biblical texts such as Ecclesiastes 9:5 which states "the dead know nothing", and 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 which contains a description of the dead being raised from the grave at the second coming. These verses, it is argued, indicate that death is only a period or form of slumber.

Adventists teach that the resurrection of the righteous will take place at the second coming of Jesus, while the resurrection of the wicked will occur after the millennium of Revelation 20. They reject the traditional doctrine of hell as a state of everlasting conscious torment, believing instead that the wicked will be permanently destroyed after the millennium.

The Adventist views about death and hell reflect an underlying belief in: (a) conditional immortality (or conditionalism), as opposed to the immortality of the soul; and (b) the holistic (or monistic) Christian anthropology or nature of human beings, as opposed to bipartite or tripartite views.

Jehovah's Witnesses hold that the soul ceases to exist when the person dies[73] and therefore that Hell (Sheol or Hades) is a state of non-existence.[73] In their theology, Gehenna differs from Sheol or Hades in that it holds no hope of a resurrection.[73] Tartarus is held to be the metaphorical state of debasement of the fallen angels between the time of their moral fall (Genesis chapter 6) until their post-millennial destruction along with Satan (Revelation chapter 20).[74]

Christian Universalists believe in universal reconciliation, the belief that all human souls (even demons and fallen angels) will be eventually reconciled with God and admitted to Heaven.[75] This view is held by some Unitarian-Universalists.[76][77][78]

According to Emanuel Swedenborg's Second Coming Christian revelation, hell exists because evil people want it.[79] They, not God, introduced evil to the human race.[80]

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) teach that hell is a state between death and resurrection, in which those spirits who did not repent while on earth must suffer for their own sins (Doctrine and Covenants 19:15–17[81]).

Islam

Muhammad and "shameless women" in Hell
Muhammad, along with Buraq and Gabriel, visit Hell, and they see "shameless women" being eternally punished for exposing their hair to the sight of strangers. Persian, 15th century.

In Islam, jahannam (in Arabic: جهنم) (related to the Hebrew word gehinnom) is a place filled with blazing fire, boiling water, and a variety of other torments for those who have been condemned to it in the hereafter. After the Day of Judgement, it is to be occupied by those who do not believe in God, those who have disobeyed his laws, or rejected his messengers.[82] "Enemies of Islam" are sent to Hell immediately upon their deaths.[83]

Like Zoroastrians, Muslims believe that on Judgement Day, all souls will pass over a bridge over hell (Chinvat Bridge in Zorastrianism, As-Sirāt in Islam) which those destined for hell will find too narrow and fall from into their new abode.[84] Jahannam resembles the Christian versions of Hell in being below heaven and full of fire, but it is primarily a place of punishment, created by God, instead of devils domain to wage war against the heavens above.[85][86]

The holy book of Islam, the Quran, gives many literal descriptions of the condemned in a fiery Hell, contrasting them with the garden-like Paradise (jannah) enjoyed by righteous believers. Suffering in Hell is both physical and spiritual,[83][87] and varies according to the sins of the condemned.[85] In the Quran, God firmly declared that a lot of mankind and Jinns will go to the fiery Jahannam.[88][89][90]

Heaven and Hell are each divided into seven different levels, with occupants assigned to each depending on their actions—good or bad—during their lifetimes. The gate of Hell is guarded by Maalik, who is the leader of the angels assigned as the guards of hell, also known as Zabaaniyah. While hell is usually described as hot, there is one pit (Zamhareer) characterized in Islamic tradition as unbearably cold, with blizzards, ice, and snow.[91]

Polytheism (shirk) is a particularly grievous sin therefore entering Paradise is forbidden for a polytheist (musyrik) because his place is Hell;[92] and the lowest pit of Hell (Hawiyah), is intended for hypocrites who claimed aloud to believe in God and his messenger but in their hearts did not.[93] Not all Muslims and scholars agree whether hell is an eternal destination or whether some or all of the condemned will eventually be forgiven and allowed to enter paradise.[83][85][94][95]

Bahá'í Faith

In the Bahá'í Faith, the conventional descriptions of Hell and Heaven are considered to be symbolic representations of spiritual conditions. The Bahá'í writings describe closeness to God to be Heaven, and conversely, remoteness from God as Hell.[96]

Eastern religions

Buddhism

Ngaye (Naraka) in Burmese art
Naraka in the Burmese representation

In "Devaduta Sutta", the 130th discourse of the Majjhima Nikaya, Buddha teaches about hell in vivid detail. Buddhism teaches that there are five (sometimes six) realms of rebirth, which can then be further subdivided into degrees of agony or pleasure. Of these realms, the hell realms, or Naraka, is the lowest realm of rebirth. Of the hell realms, the worst is Avīci or "endless suffering". The Buddha's disciple, Devadatta, who tried to kill the Buddha on three occasions, as well as create a schism in the monastic order, is said to have been reborn in the Avici Hell.

However, like all realms of rebirth, rebirth in the Hell realms is not permanent, though suffering can persist for eons before being reborn again. In the Lotus Sutra, the Buddha teaches that eventually even Devadatta will become a Pratyekabuddha himself, emphasizing the temporary nature of the Hell realms. Thus, Buddhism teaches to escape the endless migration of rebirths (both positive and negative) through the attainment of Nirvana.

The Bodhisattva Ksitigarbha, according to the Ksitigarbha Sutra, made a great vow as a young girl to not reach Nirvana until all beings were liberated from the Hell Realms or other unwholesome rebirths. In popular literature, Ksitigarbha travels to the Hell realms to teach and relieve beings of their suffering.

Hinduism

Yama's Court and Hell
Yama's Court and Hell. The Blue figure is Yamaraja (The Hindu god of death) with his consort Yami and Chitragupta
17th-century painting from Government Museum, Chennai.

Early Vedic religion does not have a concept of Hell. Ṛg-veda mentions three realms, bhūr (the earth), svar (the sky) and bhuvas or antarikṣa (the middle area, i.e. air or atmosphere). In later Hindu literature, especially the law books and Puranas, more realms are mentioned, including a realm similar to Hell, called naraka (in Devanāgarī: नरक). Yama as the first born human (together with his twin sister Yamī), by virtue of precedence, becomes ruler of men and a judge on their departure. Originally he resides in Heaven, but later, especially medieval, traditions mention his court in naraka.

In the law-books (smṛtis and dharma-sūtras, like the Manu-smṛti), naraka is a place of punishment for sins. It is a lower spiritual plane (called naraka-loka) where the spirit is judged and the partial fruits of karma affect the next life. In Mahabharata there is a mention of the Pandavas and the Kauravas both going to Heaven. At first Yudhisthir goes to heaven where he sees Duryodhana enjoying heaven; Indra tells him that Duryodhana is in heaven as he did his Kshatriya duties. Then he shows Yudhisthir hell where it appears his brothers are. Later it is revealed that this was a test for Yudhisthir and that his brothers and the Kauravas are all in heaven and live happily in the divine abode of gods. Hells are also described in various Puranas and other scriptures. The Garuda Purana gives a detailed account of Hell and its features; it lists the amount of punishment for most crimes, much like a modern-day penal code.

It is believed that people who commit sins go to Hell and have to go through punishments in accordance with the sins they committed. The god Yamarāja, who is also the god of death, presides over Hell. Detailed accounts of all the sins committed by an individual are kept by Chitragupta, who is the record keeper in Yama's court. Chitragupta reads out the sins committed and Yama orders appropriate punishments to be given to individuals. These punishments include dipping in boiling oil, burning in fire, torture using various weapons, etc. in various Hells. Individuals who finish their quota of the punishments are reborn in accordance with their balance of karma. All created beings are imperfect and thus have at least one sin to their record; but if one has generally led a pious life, one ascends to svarga, a temporary realm of enjoyment similar to Paradise, after a brief period of expiation in Hell and before the next reincarnation, according to the law of karma.

According to Brahma Kumaris iron world (kalyug, a stage of world cycle) is regarded as hell.

Jainism

Seven Jain Hells
17th-century cloth painting depicting seven levels of Jain Hell and various tortures suffered in them. Left panel depicts the demi-god and his animal vehicle presiding over each Hell.

In Jain cosmology, Naraka (translated as Hell) is the name given to realm of existence having great suffering. However, a Naraka differs from the hells of Abrahamic religions as souls are not sent to Naraka as the result of a divine judgment and punishment. Furthermore, length of a being's stay in a Naraka is not eternal, though it is usually very long and measured in billions of years. A soul is born into a Naraka as a direct result of his or her previous karma (actions of body, speech and mind), and resides there for a finite length of time until his karma has achieved its full result. After his karma is used up, he may be reborn in one of the higher worlds as the result of an earlier karma that had not yet ripened.

The Hells are situated in the seven grounds at the lower part of the universe. The seven grounds are:

  1. Ratna prabha
  2. Sharkara prabha.
  3. Valuka prabha.
  4. Panka prabha.
  5. Dhuma prabha.
  6. Tamaha prabha.
  7. Mahatamaha prabha.

The hellish beings are a type of souls which are residing in these various hells. They are born in hells by sudden manifestation.[97] The hellish beings possess vaikriya body (protean body which can transform itself and take various forms). They have a fixed life span (ranging from ten thousand to billions of years) in the respective hells where they reside. According to Jain scripture, Tattvarthasutra, following are the causes for birth in hell:[98]

  1. Killing or causing pain with intense passion.
  2. Excessive attachment to things and worldly pleasure with constantly indulging in cruel and violent acts.
  3. Vowless and unrestrained life.[99]

Sikhism

In Sikh thought, Hell and Heaven are not places for living hereafter, they are part of spiritual topography of man and do not exist otherwise. They refer to good and evil stages of life respectively and can be lived now and here during our earthly existence.[100] For example, Guru Arjan explains that people who are entangled in emotional attachment and doubt are living in hell on this Earth i.e. their life is hellish.

So many are being drowned in emotional attachment and doubt; they dwell in the most horrible hell.

— Guru Arjan, Guru Granth Sahib 297, [101]

Taoism

Ancient Taoism had no concept of Hell, as morality was seen to be a man-made distinction and there was no concept of an immaterial soul. In its home country China, where Taoism adopted tenets of other religions, popular belief endows Taoist Hell with many deities and spirits who punish sin in a variety of horrible ways.

Chinese folk beliefs

ROM-ChineseGallery-DemonSculpture
A Chinese glazed earthenware sculpture of "Hell's torturer", 16th century, Ming Dynasty

Diyu is the realm of the dead in Chinese mythology. It is very loosely based upon the Buddhist concept of Naraka combined with traditional Chinese afterlife beliefs and a variety of popular expansions and re-interpretations of these two traditions. Ruled by Yanluo Wang, the King of Hell, Diyu is a maze of underground levels and chambers where souls are taken to atone for their earthly sins.

Incorporating ideas from Taoism and Buddhism as well as traditional Chinese folk religion, Diyu is a kind of purgatory place which serves not only to punish but also to renew spirits ready for their next incarnation. There are many deities associated with the place, whose names and purposes are the subject of much conflicting information.

The exact number of levels in Chinese Hell - and their associated deities - differs according to the Buddhist or Taoist perception. Some speak of three to four 'Courts', other as many as ten. The ten judges are also known as the 10 Kings of Yama. Each Court deals with a different aspect of atonement. For example, murder is punished in one Court, adultery in another. According to some Chinese legends, there are eighteen levels in Hell. Punishment also varies according to belief, but most legends speak of highly imaginative chambers where wrong-doers are sawn in half, beheaded, thrown into pits of filth or forced to climb trees adorned with sharp blades.

However, most legends agree that once a soul (usually referred to as a 'ghost') has atoned for their deeds and repented, he or she is given the Drink of Forgetfulness by Meng Po and sent back into the world to be reborn, possibly as an animal or a poor or sick person, for further punishment.

Other traditions

Zoroastrianism

Zoroastrianism has historically suggested several possible fates for the wicked, including annihilation, purgation in molten metal, and eternal punishment, all of which have standing in Zoroaster's writings. Zoroastrian eschatology includes the belief that wicked souls will remain in hell until, following the arrival of three saviors at thousand-year intervals, Ahura Mazda reconciles the world, destroying evil and resurrecting tormented souls to perfection.[102]

The sacred Gathas mention a "House of the Lie″ for those "that are of an evil dominion, of evil deeds, evil words, evil Self, and evil thought, Liars."[103] However, the best-known Zoroastrian text to describe hell in detail is the Book of Arda Viraf.[104] It depicts particular punishments for particular sins—for instance, being trampled by cattle as punishment for neglecting the needs of work animals.[105] Other descriptions can be found in the Book of Scriptures (Hadhokht Nask), Religious Judgments (Dadestan-i Denig) and the Book of the Judgments of the Spirit of Wisdom (Mainyo-I-Khard).[106]

Wicca

In Wicca, there is no such thing as hell because Wiccans largely do not believe in the concept of punishment or reward.[107] Although Wiccan views differ among different denominations, Wiccans tend to prefer viewing the Horned God and the Goddess as gentle deities.[108]

In popular culture

William Bouguereau - Dante and Virgile - Google Art Project
Dante and Virgil in Hell (1850) by William-Adolphe Bouguereau. In this painting, the two are shown watching the condemned.

In his Divina commedia (Divine Comedy), set in the year 1300), Dante Alighieri employed the concept of taking Virgil as his guide through Inferno (and then, in the second canticle, up the mountain of Purgatorio). Virgil himself is not condemned to Hell proper in Dante's poem but is rather, as a virtuous pagan, confined to Limbo just at the edge of Hell. The geography of Hell is very elaborately laid out in this work, with nine concentric rings leading deeper into the Earth and deeper into the various punishments of Hell, until, at the center of the world, Dante finds Satan himself trapped in the frozen lake of Cocytus. A small tunnel leads past Satan and out to the other side of the world, at the base of the Mount of Purgatory.

John Milton's Paradise Lost (1667) opens with the fallen angels, including their leader Satan, waking up in Hell after having been defeated in the war in heaven and the action returns there at several points throughout the poem. Milton portrays Hell as the abode of the demons, and the passive prison from which they plot their revenge upon Heaven through the corruption of the human race. 19th-century French poet Arthur Rimbaud alluded to the concept as well in the title and themes of one of his major works, A Season In Hell. Rimbaud's poetry portrays his own suffering in a poetic form as well as other themes.

019Visita al infierno
Visit to hell by Mexican artist Mauricio García Vega.

Many of the great epics of European literature include episodes that occur in Hell. In the Roman poet Virgil's Latin epic, the Aeneid, Aeneas descends into Dis (the underworld) to visit his father's spirit. The underworld is only vaguely described, with one unexplored path leading to the punishments of Tartarus, while the other leads through Erebus and the Elysian Fields.

The idea of Hell was highly influential to writers such as Jean-Paul Sartre who authored the 1944 play No Exit about the idea that "Hell is other people". Although not a religious man, Sartre was fascinated by his interpretation of a Hellish state of suffering. C.S. Lewis's The Great Divorce (1945) borrows its title from William Blake's Marriage of Heaven and Hell (1793) and its inspiration from the Divine Comedy as the narrator is likewise guided through Hell and Heaven. Hell is portrayed here as an endless, desolate twilight city upon which night is imperceptibly sinking. The night is actually the Apocalypse, and it heralds the arrival of the demons after their judgment. Before the night comes, anyone can escape Hell if they leave behind their former selves and accept Heaven's offer, and a journey to Heaven reveals that Hell is infinitely small; it is nothing more or less than what happens to a soul that turns away from God and into itself.

Piers Anthony in his series Incarnations of Immortality portrays examples of Heaven and Hell via Death, Fate, Underworld, Nature, War, Time, Good-God, and Evil-Devil. Robert A. Heinlein offers a yin-yang version of Hell where there is still some good within; most evident in his book Job: A Comedy of Justice. Lois McMaster Bujold uses her five Gods 'Father, Mother, Son, Daughter and Bastard' in The Curse of Chalion with an example of Hell as formless chaos. Michael Moorcock is one of many who offer Chaos-Evil-(Hell) and Uniformity-Good-(Heaven) as equally unacceptable extremes which must be held in balance; in particular in the Elric and Eternal Champion series. Fredric Brown wrote a number of fantasy short stories about Satan's activities in Hell. Cartoonist Jimmy Hatlo created a series of cartoons about life in Hell called The Hatlo Inferno, which ran from 1953 to 1958.[109]

See also

References

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  2. ^ For discussion and analysis, see Orel (2003:156) and Watkins (2000:38).
  3. ^ "hell, n. and int." OED Online, Oxford University Press, January 2018, www.oed.com/view/Entry/85636. Accessed 7 February 2018.
  4. ^ See discussion at Orel (2003:155-156 & 310).
  5. ^ Scardigli, Piergiuseppe, Die Goten: Sprache und Kultur (1973) pp. 70-71.)
  6. ^ Lehmann, Winfred, A Gothic Etymological Dictionary (1986)
  7. ^ Orel (2003:156 & 464).
  8. ^ Alighieri, Dante (June 2001 (orig. trans. 1977)) [c. 1315]. "Cantos XXXI-XXXIV". Inferno. trans. John Ciardi (2 ed.). New York: Penguin. Check date values in: |date= (help)
  9. ^ Eileen Gardiner, Visions of Heaven and Hell Before Dante Archived 13 February 2011 at the Wayback Machine (New York, Italica Press, 1989), p. 43.
  10. ^ Gardiner, Visions, pp. 58 and 61.
  11. ^ Gardiner, Visions, pp. 141, 160 and 174, and 206–7.
  12. ^ Gardiner, Visions, pp. 222 and 232.
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  66. ^ Pool 1998, p. 133: ‘Various concepts of conditional immortality or annihilationism have appeared earlier in Baptist history as well. Several examples illustrate this claim. General as well as particular Baptists developed versions of annihilationism or conditional immortality.’
  67. ^ Stephen A. State Thomas Hobbes and the Debate Over Natural Law and Religion 2013 "The natural immortality of the soul is in fact a pagan presumption: "For men being generally possessed before the time of our Saviour, by contagion of the Daemonology of the Greeks, of an opinion, that the Souls of men were substances distinct from their Bodies, and therefore that when the Body was dead"
  68. ^ N.T. Wright For All the Saints?: Remembering the Christian Departed 2004 "many readers will get the impression that I believe that every human being comes already equipped with an immortal soul. I don't believe that. Immortality is a gift of God in Christ, not an innate human capacity (see 1 Timothy 6.16)."
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Further reading

  • Boston, Thomas. Hell. Diggory Press, ISBN 978-1-84685-748-5
  • Bunyan, John. A Few Sighs from Hell (Or The Groans of the Damned Soul). Diggory Press, ISBN 978-1-84685-727-0
  • Edwards, Jonathan. The Justice of God in the Damnation of Sinners. Diggory Press, ISBN 978-1-84685-672-3
  • Gardiner, Eileen. Visions of Heaven and Hell before Dante. New York: Italica Press, 1989. ISBN 0-934977-14-3
  • Loftus, John W. (2008). "Hell? No!". Why I became an atheist. Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books. p. 387. ISBN 978-1-59102-592-4.
  • Metzger, Bruce M. (ed) (1993). Michael D. Coogan, ed. The Oxford Companion to the Bible. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-504645-8.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)

External links

Afterlife

The afterlife (also referred to as life after death) is the belief that the essential part of an individual's identity or the stream of consciousness continues after the death of the physical body. According to various ideas about the afterlife, the essential aspect of the individual that lives on after death may be some partial element, or the entire soul or spirit, of an individual, which carries with it and may confer personal identity or, on the contrary, may not, as in Indian nirvana. Belief in an afterlife is in contrast to the belief in oblivion after death.

In some views, this continued existence often takes place in a spiritual realm, and in other popular views, the individual may be reborn into this world and begin the life cycle over again, likely with no memory of what they have done in the past. In this latter view, such rebirths and deaths may take place over and over again continuously until the individual gains entry to a spiritual realm or Otherworld. Major views on the afterlife derive from religion, esotericism and metaphysics.

Some belief systems, such as those in the Abrahamic tradition, hold that the dead go to a specific plane of existence after death, as determined by God, or other divine judgment, based on their actions or beliefs during life. In contrast, in systems of reincarnation, such as those in the Indian religions, the nature of the continued existence is determined directly by the actions of the individual in the ended life, rather than through the decision of a different being.

Classification of demons

There have been various attempts throughout history by theologian scholars in the classification of demons for the purpose of understanding the biblical and mythological context of adversarial spirits. Theologians have written dissertations in Christian demonology, classical occultism, classical mythology and Renaissance magic to clarify the connections between these spirits and their influence in various cultures. The study of demonology was historically used to understand morality, behavioral tendencies, and has even been used as symbolism to relay anecdotal tales in folklore.

Classification systems are based on the supposed nature of the demon, the alleged sin with which they lure people into temptation and may also include the angels or saints that were believed to have been their adversaries; an idea which derived from the Biblical battle between the Archangel Michael and Satan in The Book of Revelation (12:7-9) describing a war in heaven which resulted in Satan and his angels being expelled from Heaven. The classifications of these fallen angels are based on many other characteristics as well, such as behaviors that caused their fall from heaven, physical appearances or the methods that were used to torment people, cause maladies, or elicit dreams, emotions, etc. Most authors who wrote theological dissertations on the subject either truly believed in the existence of infernal spirits, or wrote as a philosophical guide to understanding an ancient perspective of behavior and morality in folklore and religious themes.

Development hell

Development hell, development limbo, or production hell is media industry jargon for a film, video game, television program, screenplay, software application, concept, or idea that remains in development (often moving between different crews, scripts, or studios) for an especially long time before it progresses to production, if it ever does. Projects in development hell are not officially cancelled, but work on them slows or stops.

Divine Comedy

The Divine Comedy (Italian: Divina Commedia [diˈviːna komˈmɛːdja]) is an Italian long narrative poem by Dante Alighieri, begun c. 1308 and completed in 1320, a year before his death in 1321. It is widely considered to be the preeminent work in Italian literature and one of the greatest works of world literature. The poem's imaginative vision of the afterlife is representative of the medieval world-view as it had developed in the Western Church by the 14th century. It helped establish the Tuscan language, in which it is written (also in most present-day Italian-market editions), as the standardized Italian language. It is divided into three parts: Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso.

The narrative describes Dante's travels through Hell, Purgatory, and Paradise or Heaven, while allegorically the poem represents the soul's journey towards God. Dante draws on medieval Christian theology and philosophy, especially Thomistic philosophy and the Summa Theologica of Thomas Aquinas. Consequently, the Divine Comedy has been called "the Summa in verse". In Dante's work, Virgil is presented as human reason and Beatrice is presented as divine knowledge.The work was originally simply titled Comedìa (pronounced [komeˈdiːa]; so also in the first printed edition, published in 1472), Tuscan for "Comedy", later adjusted to the modern Italian Commedia. The adjective Divina was added by Giovanni Boccaccio, and the first edition to name the poem Divina Comedia in the title was that of the Venetian humanist Lodovico Dolce, published in 1555 by Gabriele Giolito de' Ferrari.

Harrowing of Hell

In Christian theology, the Harrowing of Hell (Latin: Descensus Christi ad Inferos, "the descent of Christ into hell") is the triumphant descent of Christ into Hell (or Hades) between the time of his Crucifixion and his Resurrection when he brought salvation to all of the righteous who had died since the beginning of the world. After his death, the soul of Jesus descended into the realm of the dead.

The Harrowing of Hell is referred to in the Apostles' Creed and the Athanasian Creed (Quicumque vult) which state that Jesus Christ "descended into Hell". Christ having descended to the underworld is alluded to in the New Testament in 1 Peter 4:6, which states that the "good tidings were proclaimed to the dead". The Catholic Catechism interprets Ephesians 4:9, which states that "[Christ] descended into the lower parts of the earth", as also supporting this interpretation. This near-absence in Scripture has given rise to controversy and differing interpretations. The Harrowing of Hell is commemorated in the liturgical calendar on Holy Saturday.According to The Catholic Encyclopedia, the story first appears clearly in the Gospel of Nicodemus in the section called the Acts of Pilate, which also appears separately at earlier dates within the Acts of Peter and Paul.The descent into hell had been related in Old English poems connected with the names of Cædmon and Cynewulf. It is subsequently repeated in Ælfric of Eynsham's homilies c. 1000 AD, which is the first known inclusion of the word "harrowing". Middle English dramatic literature contains the fullest and most dramatic development of the subject.As an image in Christian art, the harrowing is also known as the Anastasis (a Greek word for "resurrection"), considered a creation of Byzantine culture and first appearing in the West in the early 8th century.

Hell Girl

Hell Girl (Japanese: 地獄少女, Hepburn: Jigoku Shōjo), also known as Jigoku Shōjo: Girl from Hell, is an anime series produced by Aniplex and Studio Deen. It focuses on the existence of a supernatural system that allows people to take revenge by having other people sent to Hell via the services of the mysterious title character and her assistants who implement this system. Revenge, injustice, hatred, and the nature of human emotions are common themes throughout the series.

It premiered across Japan on numerous television stations, including Animax, Tokyo MX, MBS and others, between October 4, 2005 and April 4, 2006. Following the success of the first season, the series soon produced a second season, "Jigoku Shōjo Futakomori" (地獄少女 二籠), which premiered October 7, 2006. A third season, "Jigoku Shōjo Mitsuganae" (地獄少女 三鼎), was first announced on the mobile version of the series official website "Jigoku Tsūshin", and began airing on Japanese TV October 4, 2008. A fourth television series, titled "Jigoku Shōjo: Yoi no Togi" (地獄少女 宵伽) was announced on February 25, 2017 as a climax to the series, and aired from July 14 to September 29, 2017, consisting of 6 new episodes, and 6 'reminiscence' rebroadcast episodes.

A live action television series adaptation started airing in Japan on Nippon Television from November 4, 2006.

Hell in a Cell

Hell in a Cell is a professional wrestling cage-based match which originated in 1997 in the World Wrestling Federation (now WWE). It features a large "cell" structure, a 5-sided cuboid made from open-weave steel mesh chain-link fencing which encloses the ring and ringside area. Unlike the steel cage match, only an in-ring pinfall or submission will ordinarily result in a win (though in Hell in a Cell at Judgment Day 2002 Triple H pinned Chris Jericho atop the cell to win the match), and there are no disqualifications. The original Cell was 16 ft (4.9 m) high and weighed over two tons but has since been replaced by a more robust version of 20 ft (6.1 m) and five tons. The first match took place at Badd Blood: In Your House in October 1997; a total of 40 Hell in a Cell matches have occurred. The match type spawned its own pay-per-view event in 2009, WWE Hell in a Cell, since which the event has been held annually in October and occasionally September. This event generally features one to three Hell in a Cell matches on the same card.

Hellboy

Hellboy is a fictional superhero created by writer-artist Mike Mignola. The character first appeared in San Diego Comic-Con Comics #2 (August 1993), and has since appeared in various eponymous miniseries, one-shots and intercompany crossovers. The character has been adapted into two live-action feature films in 2004 and 2008 that starred Ron Perlman in the title role, and two straight-to-DVD animated films, as well as three video games – Asylum Seeker, The Science of Evil, and as a playable character in Injustice 2. A film reboot starring David Harbour is set for release in 2019.

A well-meaning half-demon whose true name is Anung Un Rama ("and upon his brow is set a crown of flame"), Hellboy was summoned from Hell to Earth as a baby on October 5th (given as his birth date by Mike Mignola) by Nazi occultists (spawning his hatred for the Third Reich). He was discovered by the Allied Forces; amongst them, Professor Trevor Bruttenholm, who formed the United States Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense (B.P.R.D.). In time, Hellboy grew to be a large, red-skinned adult with a tail, horns (which he files off, leaving behind circular stumps on his forehead), cloven hooves for feet, and an oversized right hand made of stone (the "Right Hand of Doom"). He has been described as smelling of dry-roasted peanuts. Although a bit gruff, he shows none of the malevolence thought to be intrinsic to classical demons and has an ironic sense of humor. This is said to be because of his upbringing under Professor Bruttenholm, who raised him as a normal boy.

Hellboy works for the B.P.R.D., an international non-governmental agency, and for himself against dark forces including Nazis and witches, in a series of tales that have their roots in folklore, pulp magazines, vintage adventure, Lovecraftian horror and horror fiction. In earlier stories, he is identified as the "World's Greatest Paranormal Investigator".

Horrorcore

Horrorcore is a subgenre of hip hop music based on horror-themed and often darkly transgressive lyrical content and imagery. Its origins derived from certain hardcore hip hop and gangsta rap artists, such as the Geto Boys, which began to incorporate supernatural, occult, or psychological horror themes into their lyrics and, unlike most gangsta-rap artists, pushed the violent content and imagery in its lyrics beyond the realm of realistic urban violence to the point where the violent lyrics became gruesome, ghoulish, unsettling, or slasher film- or splatter film-esque. While exaggerated violence and the supernatural are common in horrorcore, the genre also frequently presents more realistic yet still disturbing portrayals of mental illness and drug abuse. The term "horrorcore" was popularized by openly horror-influenced hip hop groups such as Flatlinerz and Gravediggaz.

Inferno (Dante)

Inferno (pronounced [iɱˈfɛrno]; Italian for "Hell") is the first part of Italian writer Dante Alighieri's 14th-century epic poem Divine Comedy. It is followed by Purgatorio and Paradiso. The Inferno tells the journey of Dante through Hell, guided by the ancient Roman poet Virgil. In the poem, Hell is depicted as nine concentric circles of torment located within the Earth; it is the "realm ... of those who have rejected spiritual values by yielding to bestial appetites or violence, or by perverting their human intellect to fraud or malice against their fellowmen". As an allegory, the Divine Comedy represents the journey of the soul toward God, with the Inferno describing the recognition and rejection of sin.

Jahannam

Jahannam (Arabic: جهنم‎) in Islam refers to an afterlife place of punishment for evildoers. The punishments are carried in accordance with the degree of evil one has done during his life. In Quran, Jahannam is also referred as an-Nar النار ("The Fire"), Jaheem جحيم ("Blazing Fire"), Hutamah حطمة ("That which Breaks to Pieces" ), Haawiyah هاوية ("The Abyss"), Ladthaa لظى, Sa’eer سعير ("The Blaze"), Saqar سقر. and also the names of different gates to hell. Just like the Islamic heavens, the common belief holds that, Jahannam coexists with the temporary world.Suffering in hell is both physical and spiritual, and varies according to the sins of the condemned. As described in the Quran, Hell has seven levels (each one more severe than the one above it); seven gates (each for a specific group of sinners); a blazing fire, boiling water, and the Tree of Zaqqum. Not all Muslims and scholars agree whether hell is an eternal destination or whether some or even all of the condemned will eventually be forgiven and allowed to enter paradise.

Lucifer (TV series)

Lucifer is an American urban fantasy police procedural comedy-drama television series developed by Tom Kapinos that premiered on Fox on January 25, 2016. It is based on the DC Comics character created by Neil Gaiman, Sam Kieth, and Mike Dringenberg taken from the comic book series The Sandman, who later became the protagonist of a spin-off comic book series, both published by DC Comics' Vertigo imprint. The series is produced by Jerry Bruckheimer Television, DC Entertainment and Warner Bros. Television.

The series revolves around Lucifer Morningstar (Tom Ellis), the Devil, who abandons Hell for Los Angeles where he runs his own nightclub and becomes a consultant to the LAPD. The ensemble and supporting cast include Lauren German as Detective Chloe Decker, Kevin Alejandro as Detective Daniel "Dan" Espinoza, D. B. Woodside as Amenadiel, Lesley-Ann Brandt as Mazikeen, and Rachael Harris as Dr. Linda Martin. Filming took place primarily in Vancouver, British Columbia before production was relocated entirely to Los Angeles, California beginning with the third season.

The series received initially mixed reviews from critics during its first season, though the subsequent seasons drew more favorable acclaim. Many critics particularly praised Ellis' performance. Despite initially high viewership for its debut, ratings remained consistently low throughout the series' run on Fox. On May 11, 2018, Fox cancelled Lucifer after three seasons. A month later, Netflix picked up the series for a fourth season of ten episodes, which is set to be released in 2019.

Matt Groening

Matthew Abraham Groening ( (listen) GRAY-ning; born February 15, 1954) is an American cartoonist, writer, producer, animator, and voice actor. He is the creator of the comic strip Life in Hell (1977–2012) and the television series The Simpsons (1989–present), Futurama (1999–2003, 2008–2013), and Disenchantment (2018–present). The Simpsons is the longest-running U.S. primetime-television series in history and the longest-running U.S. animated series and sitcom.

Groening made his first professional cartoon sale of Life in Hell to the avant-garde Wet magazine in 1978. At its peak, the cartoon was carried in 250 weekly newspapers. Life in Hell caught the attention of James L. Brooks. In 1985, Brooks contacted Groening with the proposition of working in animation for the Fox variety show The Tracey Ullman Show. Originally, Brooks wanted Groening to adapt his Life in Hell characters for the show. Fearing the loss of ownership rights, Groening decided to create something new and came up with a cartoon family, the Simpson family, and named the members after his own parents and sisters—while Bart was an anagram of the word "brat". The shorts would be spun off into their own series The Simpsons, which has since aired 656 episodes. In 1997, Groening and former Simpsons writer David X. Cohen developed Futurama, an animated series about life in the year 3000, which premiered in 1999, running for four years on Fox, then picked up by Comedy Central for additional seasons. Groening developed a new series for Netflix titled Disenchantment, which premiered in August 2018.

Groening has won 12 Primetime Emmy Awards, ten for The Simpsons and two for Futurama as well as a British Comedy Award for "outstanding contribution to comedy" in 2004. In 2002, he won the National Cartoonist Society Reuben Award for his work on Life in Hell. He received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on February 14, 2012.

Meat Loaf

Michael Lee Aday (born Marvin Lee Aday; September 27, 1947), known professionally as Meat Loaf, is an American singer, songwriter, record producer, and actor. He is noted for his wide-ranging operatic voice and theatrical live shows.

His Bat Out of Hell trilogy of albums—Bat Out of Hell, Bat Out of Hell II: Back into Hell, and Bat Out of Hell III: The Monster Is Loose—have sold more than 50 million albums worldwide. More than 40 years after its release, Bat Out of Hell still sells an estimated 200,000 copies annually and stayed on the charts for over nine years, making it one of the best selling albums in history.After the commercial success of Bat Out of Hell and Bat Out of Hell II: Back Into Hell and earning a Grammy Award for Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance for the song "I'd Do Anything for Love", Meat Loaf experienced some initial difficulty establishing a steady career within the United States. However, he has retained iconic status and popularity in Europe, especially the United Kingdom, where he received the 1994 Brit Award for best-selling album and single, appeared in the 1997 film Spice World, and ranks 23rd for the number of weeks spent on the UK charts as of 2006. He ranked 96th on VH1's "100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock".He is one of the best-selling music artists of all time, with worldwide sales of more than 80 million records. He has also appeared in over 50 movies and television shows, sometimes as himself or as characters resembling his stage persona. His most notable roles include Eddie in The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975), Robert "Bob" Paulson in Fight Club (1999), and "The Lizard" in The 51st State (2002). He has also appeared as a guest actor in television shows such as Monk, Glee, South Park, House, and Tales from the Crypt.

Naraka (Buddhism)

Naraka (Sanskrit: नरक; Pali: निरय Niraya) is a term in Buddhist cosmology usually referred to in English as "hell" (or "hell realm") or "purgatory". The Narakas of Buddhism are closely related to diyu, the hell in Chinese mythology. A Naraka differs from the hell of Christianity in two respects: firstly, beings are not sent to Naraka as the result of a divine judgment or punishment; and secondly, the length of a being's stay in a Naraka is not eternal, though it is usually incomprehensibly long, from hundreds of millions to sextillions (1021) of years.

A being is born into a Naraka as a direct result of his or her accumulated actions (karma) and resides there for a finite period of time until that karma has achieved its full result. After his or her karma is used up, he or she will be reborn in one of the higher worlds as the result of karma that had not yet ripened.

In the Devaduta Sutta, the 130th discourse of Majjhima Nikaya, the Buddha teaches about hell in vivid detail.

Physically, Narakas are thought of as a series of cavernous layers which extend below Jambudvīpa (the ordinary human world) into the earth. There are several schemes for enumerating these Narakas and describing their torments. The Abhidharma-kosa (Treasure House of Higher Knowledge) is the root text that describes the most common scheme, as the Eight Cold Narakas and Eight Hot Narakas.

Ronnie James Dio

Ronald James Padavona (July 10, 1942 - May 16, 2010) known professionally as Ronnie James Dio or simply Dio, was an American heavy metal singer-songwriter and composer. He fronted or founded numerous groups throughout his career, including Elf, Rainbow, Black Sabbath, Dio, and Heaven & Hell.

Dio was born in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, where his family resided for his father's service in the U.S. Army during World War II; they soon relocated to Cortland, New York. His music career began there in 1957 as part of the Vegas Kings (later Ronnie and the Rumblers). In 1967, he formed the rock band Elf, which became a regular opening act for Deep Purple. In 1975, Deep Purple guitarist Ritchie Blackmore founded the band Rainbow along with Dio, where he began a successful career releasing albums such as "Rising" (1976) and "Long Live Rock N' Roll" (1978). In 1979, Dio joined Black Sabbath as lead singer. He appeared in two studio albums of the band which met with success: "Heaven & Hell" (1980) and "Mob Rules" (1981). In 1982 he left the band to pursue a solo career, having two albums certified platinum by RIAA. In 2006 he founded the band Heaven & Hell with ex-bandmate Tony Iommi. Dio was diagnosed with stomach cancer in 2009, from which he died the following year.

Dio is regarded as one of the greatest and most influential heavy metal artists of all time. He is known for popularizing the "Metal Horns" hand gesture in metal culture and his medieval-themed song lyrics. Dio had a powerful, versatile vocal range and was capable of singing both hard rock and lighter ballads. He was awarded the "Metal Guru Award" by Classic Rock Magazine in 2006. He was also named the "Best Metal singer" at the Revolver Golden Gods Awards in 2010.

The Road Warriors

The Road Warriors were a professional wrestling tag team composed of Michael "Hawk" Hegstrand and Joseph "Animal" Laurinaitis. They performed under the name "Road Warriors" in the American Wrestling Association (AWA), the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA), and World Championship Wrestling (WCW), and the name Legion of Doom (LOD) in the World Wrestling Federation (WWF). Under either name, their gimmick was the same – two imposing wrestlers in face paint. For brief periods, other wrestlers were added as stand-in partners for both men. In Japan in the 1990s, Kensuke "Power Warrior" Sasaki often teamed with Hawk and Animal, separately and together.

Hawk and Animal were known for their impressive physiques, as their physical size was larger than most wrestlers of the era. Their face paint and spiked armor were inspired by the Mad Max film The Road Warrior; they were the first wrestlers to bring a theme from a movie into the wrestling world. They also introduced a tandem maneuver known as the Doomsday Device. Both men used the move as a team finisher throughout their careers, even when teaming with other partners.

The Road Warriors are regarded by many as the greatest tag team in professional wrestling history.

WWE Hell in a Cell

WWE Hell in a Cell is a professional wrestling event produced annually by WWE, a Connecticut-based professional wrestling promotion, and broadcast live and available only through pay-per-view (PPV) and the WWE Network. The event was established in 2009, replacing WWE No Mercy in the early October slot of WWE's pay-per-view calendar. In 2012, WWE announced that Hell in a Cell will be moving to late October, leaving only one pay-per-view in October. However, in 2013, WWE added Battleground (originally as Over the Limit) in an early October slot. In 2018, the Hell in a Cell moved to the September slot.

With the brand extension reinstated in 2016, the pay-per-view in 2016 was a Raw branded event. However, the 2017 edition of the event was recently hosted by SmackDown. In 2018, it was announced that Hell in a Cell would be a dual brand event.The concept of the show comes from WWE's established Hell in a Cell match, in which competitors fight inside a 20-foot-high roofed cell structure surrounding the ring and ringside area. Each main event match of the card is contested under the Hell in a Cell stipulation. Hell in a Cell was chosen over No Escape, Locked Up and Rage in a Cage.Championship bouts are scheduled on every card, with the lower-tier titles contested on the undercard and the top-tier appearing on the main card.

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