Monday, January 08, 2007

How we lost heaven

Jeffrey Burton Russell, perhaps more famous as a “diabologian,” is the author of a couple of books about heaven. The latest is Paradise Mislaid: How We Lost Heaven and How We Can Regain It, which Pedro Blas Gonzalez reviewed at January Magazine:

Paradise Mislaid is a follow up work to the author's equally well regarded 1997 book, A History of Heaven: The Singing Silence. Even though these may sound like heavy topics, we can quickly dispel any apprehension on behalf of some readers who might imagine these books to be off limits given their subject matter. Russell is both knowledgeable and a gifted, clear writer.

Taking the notion of heaven seriously, Russell is not content to offer a desultory treatment of this idea. Instead, he challenges the denizens of modish "post-modernity" and the cult of cool to an intelligent dual that the aforementioned refuse to engage in. Russell tantalizes the reader with a sound grasp of historical fact and an abundance of logical perspicuity. Russell's approach is also passionate and vital, a clear indication that ideas not only matter, but that they have consequences.

Read the entire review.

Also here on the blog: Miltonians may be interested in Stanley Fish's take on the "page 69 test" as applied to his book, How Milton Works; and readers interested in diabology should check out Henry Ansgar Kelly's application of the "page 69 test" to his latest book, Satan: A Biography.

--Marshal Zeringue