Heavenly Realms and Earthly Realities in Late Antique Religions
Editors: Ra’anan S. Boustan, Annette Yoshiko Reed
The idea of heaven held a special place in the late antique imagination, which was marked by a poignant sense of the relevance of otherworldly realities for earthly life. Such concerns can be found not only in Judaism and Christianity but also in the Greco-Roman religious, philosophical, scientific, and ‘magical’ traditions. Transcending social, regional and creedal boundaries, the preocupation with heaven in Late Antiquity serves as a focus for an interdisciplinary approach to understanding this formative era in Western culture and history. Drawing upon the expertise of scholars of Classics, Ancient History, Jewish Studies and Patristics, this volume explores the different functions of heavenly imagery in different texts and traditions in order to map the patterns of unity and diversity within the religious landscape of Late Antiquity.