Samson is a peculiar character. He is the most powerful of the Israelite judges and three whole chapters in the book of Judges are allocated to him. Yet he demonstrates many weaknesses, not least for the charms of women. In the international conference “Samson: Hero or Fool?” organised at the University of Nijmegen in April, 2008, the texts of Judges 16-18 were studied from different perspectives, investigating how the complex character of this (anti)hero lived on in various ways in the later traditions about him. The contributions discuss also the reception history of the Samson traditions in later Jewish, Christian and Islamic literature, as well as his representation in figurative and performing arts
Is there a future after death and what does this future look like? What kind of life can we expect, and in what kind of world? Is there another, hopefully better world than the one we live in? The articles collected in this volume, all written by leading experts in the field, deal with the question how ancient Jewish and Christian authors describe “otherworldly places and situations”. They investigate why various forms of texts were created to address the questions above, how these texts functioned, and how they have to be understood.
It is shown how ancient descriptions of the “otherworld” are taking over and reworking existing motifs, forms and genres, but also that they mirror concrete problems, ideas, experiences, and questions of their authors and the first readers.