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Why Christians believe in resurrection, not reincarnation

Mary Farrow

Every time Christians recite the Apostles’ Creed, they affirm their belief in what will happen to them after death: “’I believe in the resurrection of the body and life everlasting.”

The belief in the resurrection of one’s physical body at the end of time is central to Christian theology, and finds its basis in the resurrection of Christ, who rose in body and soul three days after his passion and death.

But according to a 2018 Pew survey, 29% of Christians in the U.S. hold the New Age belief of reincarnation – the belief that when one’s body dies, one’s soul lives on in a new and different body, unrelated to the first.

The percentage of Catholics in the U.S. who said they believe in reincarnation was even higher – 36%; just shy of the 38% of religiously unaffiliated people who said they believe the same.

However, according to Catholic teaching, belief in anything other than the resurrection of the body is completely incompatible with a Christian theology and anthropology of the human person.

Where did the belief in resurrection come from?

Even before Christ, the belief that the body would rise at the end of time was becoming a more common, though not universally held, belief among certain groups of Jews, such as the Pharisees.

Read more at Catholic News Agency

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