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
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.