Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

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

share|improve this question

2 Answers 2

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.

share|improve this answer
1  
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
1  
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.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.