Where are Heaven, Purgatory, and Hell?
#1
Are Heaven, Purgatory, and Hell (both Hades and Gehenna/the Lake of Fire) located outside of the physical/material universe (i.e. in eternity, like God) or somewhere within the physical/material universe?

From what I understand about the subject, there are at least three different heavens referred to in the Bible,

1. the dwelling place or abode of God and His angels and saints
2. Outer space
3. the sky

Is the Heaven referred to in the first definition located outside of the universe in eternity or somewhere within?

There are also apparently several Biblical definitions of Hell,

1. Sheol/Hades - the non-permanent or temporary place of the disembodied spirits/souls of dead, both the good (Genesis 37:35) as well as of the bad (Numbers 16:30).
-- A. Torments/Tartarus? - the non-permanent or temporary place of the disembodied spirits/souls of the damned.
-- B. Abraham's Bosom/Elysium/Limbus Patrum -  the non-permanent or temporary place of the disembodied spirits/souls of the just.
2. Gehenna/Lake of Fire - the permanent and final place of punishment for the wicked after the resurrection. It is the Lake of Fire described in Revelation 19 and 20.

[**Sheol (or Hades) has two separate halves. One side was and is reserved for the torment of the evil, while the other side, called "Abraham's Bosom" in Luke 16:22, was for the comfort of the righteous. There is and impassable gulf, or chasma in Greek, between the two halves (Luke 16:26).**]

The Catholic Encyclopedia says the following:
Quote:Where is hell? [...] The Bible seems to indicate that hell is within the earth, for it describes hell as an abyss to which the wicked descend. We even read of the earth opening and of the wicked sinking down into hell (Numbers 16:31 sqq.; Psalm 54:16; Isaiah 5:14; Ezekiel 26:20; Philippians 2:10, etc.). Is this merely a metaphor to illustrate the state of separation from God? Although God is omnipresent, He is said to dwell in heaven, because the light and grandeur of the stars and the firmament are the brightest manifestations of His infinite splendour. But the damned are utterly estranged from God; hence their abode is said to be as remote as possible from his dwelling, far from heaven above and its light, and consequently hidden away in the dark abysses of the earth. However, no cogent reason has been advanced for accepting a metaphorical interpretation in preference to the most natural meaning of the words of Scripture. Hence theologians generally accept the opinion that hell is really within the earth.

Wikipedia's article on "Hell in Christian beliefs" also says:
Quote:The Western understanding of Hell (called inferno or infernus) can be understood from the works of Augustine as being a place possibly located under the earth.[40] Saint Gregory of Nyssa  argued that Hades (the place "which serves as a receptacle for souls after death" not the place of Hell per se) is a subterranean locale.[41]
---
40. St. Augustine expressed the view that "the nature of Hell-fire and the location of Hell are known to no man unless the Holy Ghost made it known to him by a special revelation", though elsewhere he says: "It is my opinion that the nature of Hell-fire and the location of Hell are known to no man unless the Holy Ghost made it known to him by a special revelation", (City of God XX.16). Elsewhere he expresses the opinion that Hell is under the earth (Retract., II, xxiv, n. 2 in P.L., XXXII, 640).

41. St. Gregory then cites Philippians 2:10, 'that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth'; in support of the notion that Hades is a geographical location, namely that the 'things under the earth' would be the beings in Hades.

I would assume that the Hell being referred to in the above quote is Sheol/Hades (and therefore probably the place of torments for the damned/Tartarus as well as Abraham's Bosom/Limbus Patrum), rather than Gehenna/the Lake of Fire because the Hebrew word translated as "Hell" in Numbers 16:31 is sheol. Do you think that, based on this, Sheol/Hades is in the center of the earth? Is it possible that Sheol/Hades is an example of hylomorphism? Meaning that although we might merely detect mineral deposits and a severely hot core within the earth in the physical/material universe, in the spiritual/immaterial reality, there may exist a place of torment for souls and spirits.

I would guess that because Sheol/Hades is both described as being apparently within the earth (and thus within universe) and as being temporary or non-permanent that it is, therefore, not eternal and bound by time while Gehenna/the Lake of Fire is eternal and, therefore, not bound by time. Is this correct? On a related note, are human and angelic/demonic spirits, which are immaterial, bound by time, space, or matter while within the confines of the created universe?

According to Wikipedia's article on "Hell in Christian beliefs":
Quote:The Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox Churches teach that Heaven and Hell are within the same realm, which is in the presence of God.

In a footnote following the above quote it further says,
Quote:This interpretation concerning Paradise and Hell is not only that of St. Isaac the Syrian and St. Basil the Great, but is a general teaching of the Fathers of the Church, who interpret apophatically what is said about the eternal fire and eternal life.

Is this understanding consistent Sacred Scripture, Sacred Tradition and the Magesterium of the Catholic Church? Is it possible, or likely, that Heaven and Hell are within the same realm, in the presence of God?

Any help with these questions would be much appreciated.

Thanks.
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#2
The Purgatory is out of space it is a status w/o the locus category. Only bodies constitute space and so are somewhere, and there are no bodies in the Purgatory. The same is true for the Limbo Patriarcharum, which was a status for some souls after their death and the visitation of Jesus.

Since bodies will be present either in the hell and in the heaven (over there even now there the bodies of out Lord and of his Mother), so there are in the space somewhere.

My guess is that the hell is the Earth and the heaven is a new world somewhere else.
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#3
From childhood, I always thought they were like separate dimensions - they exist materially, but there's no way for us to access them of our own accord.
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#4
Could we talk about angels on pin heads next? Pwwwease??

Really though, I think this is a fascinating topic and while I'm not up to contributing anything except a snide rejoinder (see above) I'm interested to see what the rest of you eggheads come up with!
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#5
(08-09-2010, 11:24 AM)glgas Wrote: The Purgatory is out of space it is a status w/o the locus category. Only bodies constitute space and so are somewhere, and there are no bodies in the Purgatory. The same is true for the Limbo Patriarcharum, which was a status for some souls after their death and the visitation of Jesus.

Since bodies will be present either in the hell and in the heaven (over there even now there the bodies of out Lord and of his Mother), so there are in the space somewhere.

My guess is that the hell is the Earth and the heaven is a new world somewhere else.

I find this especially interesting and have wondered about it often before.  If Heaven were immaterial, how was our Lady assumed into it bodily?  If it is material, how do the immaterial angels and God exist there?  Do you have any insights that might help me understand it better?
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#6
(08-09-2010, 12:14 PM)Melita Wrote: Could we talk about angels on pin heads next? Pwwwease??

Really though, I think this is a fascinating topic and while I'm not up to contributing anything except a snide rejoinder (see above) I'm interested to see what the rest of you eggheads come up with!

You should probably be informed that "angels on pin heads" is a protestant derogatory term to deride Thomistic philosophy.  Knowing that it is an insult to Catholic rationality you might want to reconsider using it in future.  And just to clarify, no saint (including St Thomas) has ever discussed the notion of angels on pinheads as angels are immaterial and pinheads material, consequently the two cannot be together in the same location physically.  This just goes to show how ignorant the protestants were who coined such a ridiculous phrase to mock the foundations of Catholic philosophy.
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#7
(08-09-2010, 03:57 PM)JamieF Wrote:
(08-09-2010, 12:14 PM)Melita Wrote: Could we talk about angels on pin heads next? Pwwwease??

Really though, I think this is a fascinating topic and while I'm not up to contributing anything except a snide rejoinder (see above) I'm interested to see what the rest of you eggheads come up with!

You should probably be informed that "angels on pin heads" is a protestant derogatory term to deride Thomistic philosophy.  Knowing that it is an insult to Catholic rationality you might want to reconsider using it in future.  And just to clarify, no saint (including St Thomas) has ever discussed the notion of angels on pinheads as angels are immaterial and pinheads material, consequently the two cannot be together in the same location physically.  This just goes to show how ignorant the protestants were who coined such a ridiculous phrase to mock the foundations of Catholic philosophy.

Not well acquainted with irony I see.....Bombay would be happy to oblige ya with a detailed description.  :)
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#8
(or was that sarcasm?  :sneaky:)
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