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What is the difference between the religious connotations of Perdition and Hell?

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up vote 10 down vote accepted

Perdition is the name, in Christian theology, of the state of eternal punishment. Hell is the name given in many religions to a place where evil resides, and where people may be confined to after death, as a punishment for their behaviour during their life.

So: hell is a place, and it is a concept shared between many religions; perdition is a state, and it is a specifically Christian concept.

Definitions are those of the New Oxford American Dictionary:

perdition: (in Christian theology) a state of eternal punishment and damnation into which a sinful and unpenitent person passes after death.

hell: a place regarded in various religions as a spiritual realm of evil and suffering, often traditionally depicted as a place of perpetual fire beneath the earth where the wicked are punished after death.

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I'm not very sure about the distinctions between state and place, let me have a look at other answers – n0nChun Mar 18 '11 at 12:24
@F'x: It'd be great if you could expand your answer a bit and add a more detailed explanation. – n0nChun Mar 18 '11 at 17:25
@n0nChun: just say what you don't understand, or what point you want details on, I'll try to help some more – F'x Mar 18 '11 at 19:47
No man, it's just that the answer needs something more. I hope you understand, or you could cite your references for that matter. – n0nChun Mar 18 '11 at 19:49
Added references. Otherwise, if you need “something more” but cannot say what, I'm afraid I cannot help :) – F'x Mar 18 '11 at 19:57

Both, Perdition and Hell are the same, but Hell seems to be a more universal place. As F'x has said its concept and name are shared between several religions, for example there is Helheim in Scandinavian mythology where a goddess (well, not actually a goddess, but to keep it simple...) named Hel lives and rules. Perdition is more specific, I think, and also it means destruction, death and downfall that is why Judas is called Son of Perdition.

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