Paradise and Hell in Islamic Traditions

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Christian Lange
Themes in Islamic History
  • New York, NY: 
    Cambridge University Press
    , December
     380 pages.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.
Review coming soon!

Review by Samantha Pellegrino forthcoming.


The Muslim afterworld, with its imagery rich in sensual promises, has shaped Western perceptions of Islam for centuries. However, to date, no single study has done justice to the full spectrum of traditions of thinking about the topic in Islamic history. The Muslim hell, in particular, remains a little studied subject. This book, which is based on a wide array of carefully selected Arabic and Persian texts, covers not only the theological and exegetical but also the philosophical, mystical, topographical, architectural and ritual aspects of the Muslim belief in paradise and hell, in both the Sunni and the Shiʿi world. By examining a broad range of sources related to the afterlife, Christian Lange shows that Muslim religious literature, against transcendentalist assumptions to the contrary, often pictures the boundary between this world and the otherworld as being remarkably thin, or even permeable.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

Christian LangeUniversiteit Utrecht, The Netherlands - Christian Lange is Professor of Arabic and Islamic Studies at Utrecht University. He is the author of Justice, Punishment and the Medieval Muslim Imagination (Cambridge, 2012) and the editor of several scholarly volumes, including Locating Hell in Islamic Traditions (2015). From 2011 to 2015, he was Principal Investigator of the European Research Council project, 'The Here and the Hereafter in Islamic Traditions'. He is a member of the Young Academy of the Dutch Royal Academy of Sciences.


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