Visions of Heaven and Hell

Elena Volkova

in The Oxford Handbook of English Literature and Theology

Published in print March 2009 | ISBN: 9780199544486
Published online September 2009 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Religion and Theology

Visions of Heaven and Hell

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  • Religion
  • Philosophy of Religion
  • Christianity
  • Religious Studies



In Greek mythology it is only the priest, the artist, and the hero – representing spirit, genius, and courage – who might approach or enter the world of the dead. The aim of their respective descents is to worship the god, to save people from death, and to return home. In the Christian faith by contrast, God miraculously raises people from the dead and descends into hell after his own death on the cross. There he rescues the faithful and opens the door to heaven for them. This article describes the descent into hell, the antinomy of rising and falling, the descent of heaven to earth, the Imaginative ascent to heaven, life as pilgrimage, the road to heaven through hell, and the theodicy of heaven and hell.

Keywords: heaven; hell; Greek mythology; Christianity; theodicy; pilgrimage

Article.  8306 words. 

Subjects: Religion ; Philosophy of Religion ; Christianity ; Religious Studies

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