Thursday, April 02, 2009

Heaven and Hell...Who Goes There?

I thought as I prepare to read and review a book for, I would give pump you (and myself) full of expectations. Well, actually that's not how I work in trying to remain objective, but I do like it when I can pump up an excitement for a book while limiting my own exposure to opinions of the work before I form my own. So here's some resources for the book I have been sent:
Who Goes There: A Cultural History of Heaven and Hell By Rebecca Price Janney

A promotional Video:

Here's a SAMPLE EXCERPT (PDF-16 Pgs) for your own enjoyment.

Stay tuned for the review...


  1. Interesting...I look forward to your review. Thanks for the sample excerpt from the book as well. I especially like: "most people haven’t thought out the implications of these views logically,
    theologically, or otherwise. Rather, deep emotions have given rise to a
    common belief, and it seems unfeeling to question it. Such thinking is problematic."---from pg. 10 of the book, pg. 3 in the PDF file.

    Anyways, I believe that's the root of the problem. However that said I'm not sure we as humans can ever know who goes where---only God knows. We try to reason who goes where by dividing humanity into an elect/non-elect us versus them paradigm, but most if not all of the time these distinctions reveal more of our prejudices if anything.

    I kinda like the Eastern Orthodox view of the afterlife myself: "The Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox Churches teach that Heaven and Hell are within the same realm, which is in the presence of God.[13] [14] Some theologians have compared the Eastern view of Hell with the Western view of Purgatory.[citation needed]

    The Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox Churches teach that both the elect and the lost enter into the presence of God after death, and that the elect experience this presence as light and rest, while the lost experience it as darkness and torment.[15] The Orthodox see this doctrine as supported by Scripture and by the patristic tradition.

    The afterlife for the damned is dreadful anticipation of Judgment Day, while the elect happily await the resurrection of the dead."

  2. I was gonna block-text the quotes in the previous comment but Blogger isn't cooperating with me today.

  3. thanks for your thoughts and input! I can't wait to get it all absorbed and reviewed myself.

    That's def. a lot to think about, and one of my overall questions going into the book: how does she treat the differing perspectives of both entities or realms? Since implication is important per her thesis setup, will she come down hard on WHICH heaven or hell we have to believe in, and if so why? To me that is a harder case to make, yet if she doesn't then it begs the question, why does she not address this.

    In either case, I shall reveal all soon.

    thanks for reading and commenting!