Journeys to the Underworld and Heavenly Realm in Ancient and Medieval Literature

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John C. Stephens
  • Jefferson, NC: 
    McFarland & Company
    , February
     183 pages.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.
Review coming soon!

Review by Sarah Eckert forthcoming.


Concepts of heaven and hell are among the oldest, most widespread religious beliefs in history. In Western literature, they are frequently embedded in stories of underworld explorations and celestial journeys—stories examining the nature of the universe, life on earth and the existence of the gods.

The author analyzes tales of wonder in both ancient and medieval European literature. Other-worldly narratives appeared in literary contexts in the ancient world, including mythology, poetry and philosophical writings. In medieval times, they remained a popular form of literary expression. These stories are primarily religious in nature, describing fantastic worlds filled with miracles and supernatural beings.

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

John C. Stephens is Adjunct Professor of Religion at San Joaquin Delta Community College in Stockton, CA.


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