Chapter 1 1
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Why has the resurrection once again become the centre point of a new storm brewing in both popular and academic culture? And why should this current resurrection debate be given priority and analysed anew? Because the combination of the realisation of death and human beings‟ need to interpret its mysteries, presents one of the most consistently featured problems in the history of religions. A problem whose intensity has reached fever pitch in the last decade, but then not only in the history of religions: There’s a powerful scene near the end of “The Road” – the film adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel – where a father and son huddle together under soulless skies on a desolate, nameless beach littered with whale and human skeletons. They have finally reached the coast after traversing by foot a post-apocalyptic landscape fraught with unspeakable dangers, toils, and snares. The boy, about 10, has never seen the sea. “What’s on the other side?” he asks. “Nothing”, replies his father, suffering from malnutrition and weakness after fending off all sorts of evils. All along he has encouraged his son to maintain hope – to “carry the fire” – but has slowly lost his own. The boy, who believes there’s still goodness somewhere in their dark and dying world, looks out to the sea and says: “There must be something”. Wanting to keep his son’s hope alive, the man relents: “Maybe there’s a father and his son, and they’re sitting on the beach too”. Like McCarthy’s 2006 book, the film is both depressing and redeeming; it depicts one of the most loving father-son relationships to appear on the big screen. And this particular scene speaks volumes for all of us asking a universal question –what’s on the other side?