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Harrowing of Hell

Harrowing of Hell in medieval Christian theology, the defeat of the powers of evil and the release of its victims by the descent of Christ into hell after his death. It is a subject of mystery plays and of Orthodox icons; in medieval religious art Christ is shown treading down the gates of hell to release the souls of the faithful who have died before his Coming.

Harrowing here comes from harrow, a by-form of the verb to harry.

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"Harrowing of Hell." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Encyclopedia.com. 25 Jul. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Harrowing of Hell." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Encyclopedia.com. (July 25, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/harrowing-hell

"Harrowing of Hell." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Retrieved July 25, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/harrowing-hell

Harrowing of Hell

Harrowing of Hell. Medieval Christian term for the belief that on Holy Saturday, Jesus descended into hell and defeated the powers of the devil. In consequence, he was able to set free the souls of those who had been faithful to God (and conscience) before the incarnation and its associated atonement.

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"Harrowing of Hell." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Encyclopedia.com. 25 Jul. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Harrowing of Hell." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Encyclopedia.com. (July 25, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/harrowing-hell

"Harrowing of Hell." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Retrieved July 25, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/harrowing-hell