I imagine that the details of the afterlife were disputed as have all points of doctrine. Was the matter settled into dogma at a particular Council? I'd like to find out the details of who championed which views and with what arguments.
It appears that a belief in a new creation which would have some earthly aspect to it has never been abandoned, though this is not well-known. See The Catholic Encyclopedia (1917) on the New Advent website under "Eschatology," the last paragraph:
There is mention also of the physical universe sharing in the general consummation (2 Peter 3:13; Romans 8:19 sqq.; Revelation 21:1 sqq.). The present heaven and earth will be destroyed, and a new heaven and earth take their place.