Beyond : how humankind thinks about heaven / Catherine Wolff.
- ISBN: 9781594634451
- ISBN: 1594634459
- Physical Description: xvi, 336 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
- Publisher: New York : Riverhead Books, 2021.
- Copyright: ©2021
|Bibliography, etc. Note:||
Includes bibliographical references and index.
|Formatted Contents Note:||
Introduction: At the horizon of the known -- Part I. In the beginning. Seek and ye shall find ; Origins ; The sacred fire -- Part II. Ancient religions. An imagined world ; The realm of endless light ; As though it were a dream -- Part III. Judaism. The eternal covenant ; No eye has seen it ; The gates of the imagination ; Today -- Part IV. Christianity. Jesus on Earth ; Staying alert ; Augustine's visions ; Many heavens ; They had love always ; Predestination for glory ; Eternal progress ; God's new creation -- Part V. Islam. The path to the afterlife ; Companions of the garden ; The goal of you all is Allah ; For God to decide -- Part VI. Hinduism and Buddhism. Looking east ; Life after life after life ; Gone to God ; The path to enlightenment ; The clear light ; If we could only awaken -- Part VII. We shall not cease from exploration. Voices from beyond ; The beyond within ; Beyond time-space ; The vastly alerted mind ; The universe awakening ; At the end of all our exploring -- Afterword: Death is the mother of beauty.
"A smart and thought-provoking cultural history of heaven. What do we think of when we think about heaven? What might it look like? Who or what might be there? Since humans began to huddle together for protection thousands of years ago, these questions have been part of how civilizations and cultures define heaven, the good place beyond this one. From Christianity to Islam to Hinduism and beyond, from the brush of Michelangelo to the pen of Dante, people across millennia have tried to explain and describe heaven in ways that are distinctive and analogous, unique and universal. In this engrossing cultural history of heaven, Catherine Wolff delves into how people and cultures have defined heaven over the centuries. She describes how different faiths and religions have framed it, how the sense of heaven has evolved, and how non-religious influences have affected it, from the Enlightenment to the increasingly non-religious views of heaven today. Wolff looks deep into the accounts of heaven to discover what's common among them and what makes each conception memorable. The result is an engaging, thoughtful exploration of an idea that's central to our humanity and our desire to define an existence beyond death"-- Provided by publisher.
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