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Paradise MislaidHow We Lost Heaven and How We Can Regain It$
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Jeffrey Burton Russell

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780195334586

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195334586.001.0001

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Shut and Open

Shut and Open

(p.1) Chapter 1 Shut and Open
Paradise Mislaid

Jeffrey Burton Russell

Oxford University Press

This book is a history of the Christian concept of heaven in particular. An external history of heaven is social history assuming that heaven has no meaning in itself and is nothing but a gamut of attitudes created by varying societal conditions and performing various societal functions. An internal history of heaven takes the concept of heaven seriously in itself. This book is an internal history, treating heaven as a serious concept with transcendent meaning. It describes and analyzes how the classical view was modified, fragmented, denied, and defended. It argues that the history of concepts is the best method for understanding any human idea because it integrates the development of the concept in areas as diverse as philosophy, psychology, art, religion, mythology, and folklore.

Keywords:   Christian heaven, paradise, Father, God, Bible

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