Encyclopedia of Psychology and Religion

2014 Edition
| Editors: David A. Leeming

Descent to the Underworld

  • Kathryn MaddenEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-6086-2_163
In Christian theological doctrine, Christians affirm in the Apostles’ Creed their belief that Jesus descended into Hell (Gk. κατελθόντα ες τà κατώτατα; L., descendit ad inferos, or underworld), on the Saturday between the Crucifixion and the Resurrection. His descent is understood as an act of liberation of the unredeemed souls who had been banished to Hell from the beginning of time. It is believed by most Christians that Christ raised with him those from all previous times who were deemed by God to be worthy to enter the kingdom of eternal life. Although this declaration of faith is made in the Christian Apostles’ Creed, there is no specific mention of the event in the gospels other than some inferences in Acts 2:24:

But God raised him up having freed him from death, because it was impossible for him to be held in its power.

Acts 2:31 further states that:

He was not abandoned to Hades, nor did his flesh experience corruption (The New Oxford Annotated Bible 1991).

John 2:6 describes...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Institute for the PsychotherapiesNew YorkUSA