Tales of Lights and Shadows: Myths and Images of the Afterlife
By Robert Ellwood
Continuum, 2010

Continuing a series on mythology, this volume discusses the many and varied stories and pictures of the life after death that have inspired hope or fear in the hearts of humans over the millennia. Here are presented reincarnation versus eternal life in heaven or hell, whether heaven means only eternal worship of God or the enjoyment of the more human delights of dance and love, our varied attitudes toward ancestral spirits and ghosts, and the meaning of predictions of a Last Day toward which all history is trending. We will see how folk and popular versions of the afterlife may differ from those of philosophers and theologians, and what is meant by changes in funeral and mourning customs. If you find issues like this fascinating, this book might be of real interest.

Robert Ellwood
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