Heaven: A History, Second edition

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9780300091076: Heaven: A History, Second edition

What do Christians believe they will experience after a virtuous life? What will an eternity in the hereafter be like? In this copiously illustrated, lively book, Colleen McDannell and Bernhard Lang describe and interpret the ways in which believers from biblical authors to medieval mystics, from Jesus to present-day religious thinkers have pictured Heaven, not just in doctrine but also in poetry, art, literature, and popular culture. In so doing, they shed new light on both the private and public dimensions of western culture. This second edition includes a substantial new preface relating the book to changing views of life after death in the new century.

Praise for the earlier edition:

[A] fascinating new study. . . . It is a rich and provocative subject and the authors use it as a springboard from which to examine shifting attitudes toward man and God, within the Judeo-Christian tradition.” Michiko Kakutani, New York Times
The next best thing to going.” Carlin Romano, Philadelphia Inquirer

Heaven: A History offers a whistlestop tour, thoroughly researched and engagingly written, of the extraordinary things Christians and others have believed about life after death. . . . A compendium of fascinating finds from the past.” John Barton, London Review of Books

A fascinating survey of Western culture and a delightful tour of the histories of art, literature and theology.” Christian Century

Heaven: A History provides a rich opportunity for theological reflection. This book can help in constructing a language for the hereafter that will encourage the best hopes of the living and, heaven knows, perhaps guide the reader to a vision of eternal bliss.” St. Anthony Messenger

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Review:

Some angels wear business suits, and some run around stark naked, according to Heaven, a history of Christian ideas and images of the afterlife. Academics Colleen McDannell and Bernhard Lang have organized their history in roughly chronological order, beginning with ancient Jewish ideas about life after death and proceeding through centuries of elite and popular sources: St. Augustine, Emanuel Swedenborg, Paul Tillich, and Hal Lindsey. Two major images of heaven dominate the Christian tradition. One is theocentric ("eternal solitude with God alone"); the other is anthropocentric (believers are reunited with friends and family.) And yet, these two very different ideas often coexist in the same person's mind. "There is a world of difference between what intellectuals state (and publish) as their considered opinion, and what they express in unguarded moments," the authors note. Heaven can't solve any mysteries about what happens after we die, but it does persuasively demonstrate that "the ways in which people imagine heaven tell us how they understand themselves, their families, their society, and their God." --Michael Joseph Gross

About the Author:

Colleen McDannell is Sterling M. McMurrin Professor of Religious Studies and Professor of History at the University of Utah. She is also the author of Material Christianity. Bernhard Lang is professor of religion at the University of Paderborn, Germany, and the author of Sacred Games: A History of Christian Worship. Both of these books are published by Yale University Press.

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Book Description Yale University Press, United States, 2001. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 2nd ed.. Language: English . Brand New Book. What do Christians believe they will experience after a virtuous life? What will an eternity in the hereafter be like? In this copiously illustrated, lively book, Colleen McDannell and Bernhard Lang describe and interpret the ways in which believers-from biblical authors to medieval mystics, from Jesus to present-day religious thinkers-have pictured Heaven, not just in doctrine but also in poetry, art, literature, and popular culture. In so doing, they shed new light on both the private and public dimensions of western culture. This second edition includes a substantial new preface relating the book to changing views of life after death in the new century. Praise for the earlier edition: [A] fascinating new study.It is a rich and provocative subject and the authors use it as a springboard from which to examine shifting attitudes toward man and God, within the Judeo-Christian tradition. -Michiko Kakutani, New York Times The next best thing to going. -Carlin Romano, Philadelphia Inquirer Heaven: A History offers a whistlestop tour, thoroughly researched and engagingly written, of the extraordinary things Christians and others have believed about life after death.A compendium of fascinating finds from the past. -John Barton, London Review of Books A fascinating survey of Western culture and a delightful tour of the histories of art, literature and theology. -Christian Century Heaven: A History provides a rich opportunity for theological reflection. This book can help in constructing a language for the hereafter that will encourage the best hopes of the living and, heaven knows, perhaps guide the reader to a vision of eternal bliss. -St. Anthony Messenger. Bookseller Inventory # BZV9780300091076

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