Cremation and the Bible: A Reflection

AUTHOR : Frederick Mawusi Amevenku
ISSUE: June 2019 Volume 1 Number 2 Article 4
PAGES : 33 – 42
DOI : 10.32051/06241904

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Abstract

Around the world, dead bodies are disposed of in various ways. In ancient Egypt, corpses were embalmed before burial as in most parts of Africa. In other places corpses were thrown into the Sea to serve as food for the fish. Other people cremate dead bodies and still others bury their dead in the earth. Almost everyone eventually will have to make a decision about how to dispose of deceased family members. Usually, the choice of method is informed by religious, cultural, economic, ethical, social and ecological considerations. One method that has raised concerns within religious circles is cremation. On the one hand, cremation is considered as ecologically friendly, inexpensive and ethically right. On the other hand, it is viewed as theologically problematic for Christians. It raises questions about the Christian doctrine of Resurrection of the body. Should Christians be concerned about how corpses are disposed of? Does the Bible prescribe a particular way of disposing of corpses? What theological issues surround the choice of cremation as a preferred method? This study attempts to answer these questions and provides a Christian theological perspective of cremation, presenting arguments both in favour and against the practice.

Author Biodata: FREDERICK MAWUSI AMEVENKU, PhD is a Senior Lecturer in New Testament Studies and Biblical Hermeneutics at Trinity Theological Seminary, Legon-Accra. He is also an ordained Minister of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church, Ghana.