The Formation of Hell: Death and Retribution in the Ancient and Early Christian Worlds
"A superb book largely because it brings clarity to a complex, puzzling and terrifying subject. . . . It lets you make up your own mind about death by helping you see what some of the choices are."--Edward L. Mark, Boston Globe
What becomes of the wicked? Hell--exile from God, subjection to fire, worms, and darkness--for centuries the idea has shaped the dread of malefactors, the solace of victims, and the deterrence of believers. Asking just why and how belief in hell arose, Alan E. Bernstein takes us back to those times and offers us a comparative view of the philosophy, poetry, folklore, myth, and theology of that formative age.