This chapter discusses religious beliefs concerning the hereafter. Christian beliefs informed and coloured what was written about the life after death by all sorts of literate lay people in media of expression as diverse as poetry, letters, diaries, epitaphs, and preambles to wills. During the Middle Ages new ideas emerged about the location and nature of heavenly space. Medieval schoolmen sought to achieve a synthesis of Christian theology and Aristotelian conceptions of the universe. Late antiquity and the Middle Ages also elaborated the picture of hell as a place of everlasting torment.
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