Chapter

Heavenly Speculations

John Casey

in After Lives

Published in print October 2009 | ISBN: 9780195092950
Published online February 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780199869732 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195092950.003.0015
Heavenly Speculations

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The English speculated in an empirical way about heaven (as they had done about hell) in the seventeenth and eighteenth Centuries. Isaac Watts envisaged what was virtually a Royal Society of intellectual speculation in heaven. Other thinkers discussed at length what avocations and travels would keep the saved occupied throughout eternity. The relation between our original bodies and the risen version was often discussed, with surprising results. Some—the “mortalists”—denied that the body could be immortal. One of the most striking speculative projects—Thomas Burnet's A Sacred Theory of the Earth, which explains what will happen after the General Resurrection—is described. There was also a heaven of sentimental eroticism, and a suggestion that we need not die at all.

Keywords: empirical speculation; intellectual; mortalists; Thomas Burnet; Isaac Watts; sentimental eroticism

Chapter.  7737 words. 

Subjects: East Asian Religions

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