Will there be races in heaven?

In T. Ryan Byerly (ed.), Death, Immortality, and Eternal Life. Routledge. pp. 192-206 (2021)
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Drawing on work in the Philosophy of Race, this chapter argues that the existence of races in heaven is either incompatible or only questionably compatible with the mainstream Christian view of the afterlife. However, it also argues that there is a phenomenon adjacent and related to race that can exist in the afterlife, namely racial identity. If one thinks of racial identity as a kind of practical identity, it turns out that racial identity is primarily psychological. Thus, its existence in heaven is compatible with the mainstream Christian view that people with some semblance of human psychology continue on after death. Furthermore, the chapter offers reasons to think that we will need racial identities in the afterlife to facilitate forgiveness and reconciliation. Finally, it suggests that preserving racial identities from this life to the next is, on balance, preferable.

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Nathan Placencia
Los Angeles Valley College


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