Call Boomerang Books 1300 36 33 32

Description - A History of Heaven by Jeffrey Burton Russell

Well-known for his historical accounts of Satan and hell, Jeffrey Burton Russell here explores the brighter side of eternity: heaven. Dispensing with the cliche images of goodness that can make even heaven seem unbearable, the author stimulates our imagination with a history of how the joy of paradise has been conceived by writers, philosophers, and artists for whom heaven was an imminent reality. Russell not only explores concepts found among the ancient Jews, Greeks, and Romans as well as early and medieval Christians, but also addresses the intellectual problems heaven poses: how does time "pass" in eternity? is heaven a place or a state? who is in and who is not? what happens to the body and soul between death and Judgment Day? Russell stresses that the best way to approach the logic-defying concept of a place occupying neither space nor time is through poetry and paradox, and through the visions of such mystics as Bernard, Julian of Norwich, and Eckhart. After the Revelation of Saint John the Divine, the most sublime and encompassing portrait of heaven to date has come not from a theologian but from a poet--Dante Alighieri in his Divine Comedy.Russell's history of heaven culminates in a lively analysis of how Dante described the glories of the indescribable. The unsurpassed images of light, movement, and community that Dante uses so skillfully to convey the presence of God are rooted in the Jewish picture of heaven as a garden or court and in the Greek picture of the Elysian Fields. Using current scholarly insights together with a vast store of knowledge gathered from the past, Russell takes the idea of heaven as valid and important in itself--something to be understood from the point of view of those believing in it. His very use of language immerses us in the thoughts of those who have sought heaven and provides rich material for contemplation.

Buy A History of Heaven by Jeffrey Burton Russell from Australia's Online Independent Bookstore, Boomerang Books.

Book Details

ISBN: 9780691006840
ISBN-10: 0691006849
Format: Paperback
(235mm x 152mm x mm)
Pages: 256
Imprint: Princeton University Press
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publish Date: 14-Dec-1998
Country of Publication: United States

Other Editions - A History of Heaven by Jeffrey Burton Russell

Book Reviews - A History of Heaven by Jeffrey Burton Russell

» Have you read this book? We'd like to know what you think about it - write a review about History of Heaven book by Jeffrey Burton Russell and you'll earn 50c in Boomerang Bucks loyalty dollars (you must be a Boomerang Books Account Holder - it's free to sign up and there are great benefits!)

Write Review


Author Biography - Jeffrey Burton Russell

Jeffrey Burton Russell is Professor of History and Religious Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is the author of fifteen previous books, including most recently Mephistopheles: The Devil in the Modern World, The Prince of Darkness, A History of Witchcraft: Sorcerers, Heretics, Pagans, and Inventing the Flat Earth: Columbus and Modern Historians.

Books By Jeffrey Burton Russell

Exposing Myths about Christianity by Jeffrey Burton Russell
Paperback, June 2012
$31.15
Paradise Mislaid by Jeffrey Burton Russell
Paperback, August 2007
$28.76
Dust by Jeffrey Burton Russell
Paperback, November 2001
$42.29