Paradise Mislaid: How We Lost Heaven and How We Can Regain It

Paperback | September 15, 2007

byJeffrey Burton Russell

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The Christian concept of heaven flourished for almost two millennia, but it has lost much of its power in the last hundred years. Indeed today even theologians tend to avoid the topic. This stimulating book sets out to rehabilitate heaven by forcefully attacking a series of ideas that havemade belief in heaven, not to mention belief in God, increasingly difficult for modern people. The author provides elegant and persuasive refutations of arguments ranging from the idea that science has disproved the existence of the supernatural, to the notion that biblical criticism has emptied thescripture of meaning. Along the way, as Russell looks at the ideas of Charles Darwin and Herbert Spencer, Mark Twain and Alfred Lord Tennyson, Marx and Freud, and a host of others, he sheds light not only on the history of Christian thought, but on the process of secularization in the West. One byone, Russell refutes these anti-religious ideologies, pinpointing the deficiencies of their reasoning. "A marvelous overview of the many philosophical, literary, social, and even religious forces that have challenged the concept of heaven.... Russell's elegant and richly textured survey of heaven offers a first-rate history of a much-debated subject." --Publishers Weekly (starred review) "Believers and unbelievers alike will find much here to challenge their thinking.... Russell argues that, far from hiding dark realities behind pretty illusions, the great metaphors of Christianity--from the luminous New Jerusalem of Revelation to the heavenly chariot of African Americanspirituals--gesture toward realities too cosmic to fit within ordinary language." --Booklist (starred review) Patient, generous, eloquent, it delivers to the ordinary reader a brilliant analysis of the long battle for Christian ideas. Russell shrinks from nothing as he pierces the illusions surrounding skepticism and cynicism and how these biases have come to dominate our daily lives. Vitally importantfor those of us who struggle to articulate the richness of the faith they hold dear." --Anne Rice

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The Christian concept of heaven flourished for almost two millennia, but it has lost much of its power in the last hundred years. Indeed today even theologians tend to avoid the topic. This stimulating book sets out to rehabilitate heaven by forcefully attacking a series of ideas that havemade belief in heaven, not to mention belief in...

Jeffrey Burton Russell is Emeritus Professor of History at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is well known for a series of books on the history of Satan and evil, as well as A History of Heaven--a book that was praised in Time Magazine, The New York Times, The Times Literary Supplement, and Christianity Today.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:224 pages, 5.71 × 8.82 × 1.1 inPublished:September 15, 2007Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195334582

ISBN - 13:9780195334586

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