Ursi's Eso Garden
Your Competent Esoteric Guide
Monday, 24. March 2008
Heaven - A Journey through the Afterlife
How does the Protestant conception of the afterlife differ
from the Catholic conception?
How does one achieve salvation and what do the saved do when they get there?
And, if heaven is so interesting,
why has western culture been so spellbound by hell?
Hieronymous Bosch, Center panel, 'The Garden of Earthly Delights', circa 1504
Click the picture fpr a larger view
The great medieval theologian Thomas Aquinas wrote 'that in the end language can only be related to what is experienced here, and given that the hereafter is not here, we can only infer'. Aquinas encapsulated a great human conundrum that has preoccupied writers and thinkers since ancient times: what might heaven be like. And although human language is constrained by experience, this has not stopped an outpouring of artistic, theological and literary representations of heaven.
In the early Middle Ages men ascended up a ladder to heaven. In his Divine Comedy, Dante divided heaven into ten layers encompassing the planets and the stars. And the 17th century writer John Bunyan saw the journey of the soul to heaven as a spiritual struggle in his autobiography, The Pilgrim's Progress.
Melvyn Bragg's guests are:
Martin Palmer, Theologian and Director of the International Consultancy on Religion, Education and Culture
John Carey, Emeritus Professor of English Literature at Oxford University
then listen to this programme in full here (43 minutes):
Broadcast was on December 2005 at BBC 4, 'In Our Time'.
Also available for RealPlayer.
Category: Poetry & Inspirations |
Page 1 of 1 pages