Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: January 26, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412964623 | Print ISBN: 9781412936361 | Online ISBN: 9781412964623| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
The idea of the Afterlife first appears in ancient literature in ancient Kemet. In the Maatian tradition of ancient Egypt (Kemet), the afterlife played a central role; the people of Kemet called it wHm anx (wehem ankh), repeating life. It was considered a spiritual and ethical goal and a reward for a righteous life on Earth—in a word, the divine gift of immortality. Moreover, a theology of “coming forth” evolved, which contains several basic concepts and is found in various sources, including funerary texts and autobiographical texts. The funerary or mortuary texts that provide a vivid portrait of the Maatian afterlife include the Pyramid Texts , the Coffin Texts (The Book of Vindication), and the Book of the Coming Forth by Day , commonly called in Egyptology The Book of the Dead . Other sources include the more esoteric texts such as Books of the Underworld . The Maatian concept ...