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Heaven: Our Enduring Fascination with the Afterlife

Heaven: Our Enduring Fascination with the Afterlife

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Heaven: Our Enduring Fascination with the Afterlife

Heaven: Our Enduring Fascination with the Afterlife

Stressed by daily news of tragedy and economic uncertainty, fearful of the inevitability of death, and buoyed by their love for God, people yearn for a paradise beyond the corporeal, free from suffering and pain. Yet as "Newsweek Religion" editor Lisa Miller demonstrates in this absorbing and enlightening book, this desire for a celestial afterlife is universal - shared by faithful around the world and across religions - and as old as the Bible itself. While there are many notions of what exactly heaven is and how we get there, the one point on which believers, whether Jewish, Christian, or Muslim, agree is that heaven is God's home. Heaven is a 2,000-year tour through the fascinating history and intellectual geography of this transcendent territory. From the earliest biblical conceptions of the afterlife to the stories of extraordinary theological characters to the convictions and perceptions of ordinary people, Miller explores the roots of our beliefs in heaven and how they have evolved to offer comfort and hope throughout the ages. She also reveals how the notion of heaven has been used for manipulation-to promulgate goodness and evil-as inspiration for selfless behaviour and justification for mass murder. From the Book of "Revelation" to the "Left Behind" series, Augustine to Osama Bin Laden, Muslims in the West Bank to American teens at vacation Bible school, "Heaven" is the definitive look at one of our most cherished religious ideals.

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