Journeys to the Underworld and Heavenly Realm in Ancient and Medieval Literature

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McFarland, Feb 14, 2019 - Religion - 183 pages

Concepts of heaven and hell are among the oldest, most widespread religious beliefs in history. In Western literature, they are frequently embedded in stories of underworld explorations and celestial journeys--stories examining the nature of the universe, life on earth and the existence of the gods.

The author analyzes tales of wonder in both ancient and medieval European literature. Other-worldly narratives appeared in literary contexts in the ancient world, including mythology, poetry and philosophical writings. In medieval times, they remained a popular form of literary expression. These stories are primarily religious in nature, describing fantastic worlds filled with miracles and supernatural beings.

 

Contents

Preface
Introduction
One Ancient Cosmology
Two Numinous Otherworldly Journeys
Three Mystical Otherworldly Journeys
Four Journeys of Spiritual Transformation
Five Courageous Journeys in the Face of Death
Six The Journey to Philosophic Wisdom
Seven The Journey to Moral Awareness
Conclusion
Chapter Notes
Bibliography
Index
Copyright

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About the author (2019)

John C. Stephens is an adjunct professor of religion at San Joaquin Delta Community College in Stockton, California.

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