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Heaven: A Traveller's Guide to the Undiscovered Country Paperback – 4 Sep 2009

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Paperback: 402 pages
  • Publisher: Element; Revised edition (4 Sept. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0006531571
  • ISBN-13: 978-0006531579
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.1 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,345,956 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Amazon Review

Prompted by the death of his mother, Peter Stanford began to research the neglected idea of heaven. His journey takes us through the beliefs of the major world religions and philosophies to explore the "undiscovered country" of heaven. As a tour guide through the afterlife, Stanford not only shows us how the Christian idea of heaven developed from Judaism, which may have been cross-fertilised with Zoroastrianism, but also takes us into Eastern religions to explain re-incarnation. He goes on to explore the Islamic view of heaven and trace the medieval vision of paradise through the glories of gothic architecture and scholastic theology. He winds up with a whirlwind tour of modern sects, fundamentalism, the occult and modernist theology.

Stanford has produced and excellent and absorbing study. He writes with a sharp, readable style and, generally speaking, maintains an objective and fashionably skeptical tone throughout. It is easy for this "comparative religions" approach to become bland and slightly lofty, as if the author is confiding to his dinner party hostess, "Of course darling, we're not so ignorant as to actually believe any of this fascinating stuff." Stanford is wise, therefore, to interrupt his study with five juicy and totally different experiences of near death or contact between the living and the dead. These delightfully bizarre stories introduce just the right element of authenticity and put the rest of his book into context. They subvert the objective tone and help explain why the unknown world continues to mystify and fascinate us mortals. --Dwight Longenecker --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.


‘Engaging and elegant. The main thrust of the book is in effect the history of the concept of life after death…fascinating.’ Antonia Fraser, New Statesman

‘Thoughtful…humble, informative and well read…pleading for the re-establishment of the power of the myth.’ Spectator

‘Through cloudscapes and spirit worlds, Stanford is a well-informed and never less than caring guide.’ Sunday Telegraph

‘A thoughtful and thought-provoking book.’ Sunday Times

‘A wise guide to the entire celestial anthropology [which] does elegant justice to the mental geography of heaven and the travellers’ tales of the elect.’ Guardian

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By MES on 2 Nov. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
An excellent book. Recommend to anyone interested in theology. Interesting to learn about the other faiths and not similarities between them Photos of artwork good, too.
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