Death until Resurrection: An Unconscious Sleep According to Luther by Joseph Saligoe (Wipf & Stock, Oregon, 2020) by Joseph Saligoe

New review of Joseph Saligoe’s “Death until Resurrection”

afterlife recently published an extensive (and glowing) review of Wipf & Stock title, Death until Resurrection: An Unconscious Sleep According to Luther. The review offers a thorough engagement with author Joseph Saligoe’s new book on the body-soul relation in Luther’s writings.

“This is a must-read for anyone interested in post-mortem future life and eschatology,” writes reviewer David Jakubovic. He continues, “Saligoe challenges five centuries of received wisdom concerning arch-Reformer Luther who has routinely been claimed in support of traditional body-soul dualism; not so, protests Saligoe who powerfully argues the contrary case. . . . The 220-page volume is professionally produced and looks very well edited . . .”

Read the full review here.

Book synopsis

What really happens to the soul when people die? This groundbreaking book may appeal both to Luther experts and to those who know little about the Reformer. It demonstrates that Luther constantly taught over the last twenty-four years of his life that death is like an unconscious sleep. It also shows why this matters today for Christians. Death until Resurrection is a great first step in understanding God’s plan for renewal of the creation that can alleviate our common fears about death. Seeing what exactly the scriptural writers meant regarding death—as interpreted by one of the most prominent church leaders ever—also provides the benefit of helping us better understand core doctrines such as our resurrection, the nature of hell, and eternal life through salvation. This book offers that which very few writers on Luther have done: an explanation that can unravel his apparent contradictions and the Luther paradox on the nature of death and the soul using Luther’s own words scattered throughout his voluminous writings. Learn which group of widely acclaimed authors (or experts) on Luther was correct about what Luther believed about death: Lohse and George, or Althaus and Thiselton.

About the author

Joseph Saligoe is the assistant director of ministerial development and credentialing at the World Ministries Center of the Free Methodist Church in Indianapolis. He holds a master’s degree in theological studies, Anderson University (2018) and is a PhD candidate in theology, Trinity Theological Seminary.

Praise for Death until Resurrection

“Saligoe shows by careful argument that the often-posed alternatives between immediate entry to Christ’s presence and waiting for the judgment and resurrection are both true to biblical insights and to Luther without contradiction. We do not need to intrude an additional conscious state. This book is timely, instructive, fair, and well researched. I warmly recommend it.”

—Anthony C. Thiselton, Emeritus Professor of Christian Theology, University of Nottingham and University of Chester


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