Heaven and the Defeat of the Beast: Social Aspects of Discipleship

David Brown

in Discipleship and Imagination

Published in print June 2000 | ISBN: 9780198270188
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191600425 | DOI:
 Heaven and the Defeat of the Beast: Social Aspects of Discipleship

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The first part of the chapter considers some of the positive reasons why heaven as a present reality came to supplement and even supplant eschatology as a purely future concept. Thereafter, consideration is given to the question of why, if modern Christianity is right to discount the idea of hell as a place of eternal punishment, it nonetheless was allowed by God to survive in Christian consciousness for so long. In seeking an answer, the rituals of death, the invention of purgatory, and images of Satan and the Last Judgement are explored at some length, the discussion concluding with note being taken of how the contrasting images of Leviathan and of the Unicorn also contributed to this overall picture.

Keywords: eschatology; heaven; hell; Last Judgement; Leviathan; purgatory; Satan; Unicorn

Chapter.  29850 words. 

Subjects: Christian Theology

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