Sunday, May 23, 2010


Heaven by Lisa Miller
Harper, 2010
248 pages

Source: From my local library

Summary: An examination of Western civilization's interaction with the concept of "heaven" particularly through the lens of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

Thoughts: I enjoyed this book a lot. I liked seeing how notions of heaven evolved throughout the centuries to address the concerns of people (for example, the domestic idea of heaven as a place where we are reunited with family really only comes from the past two centuries). And I liked seeing how people throughout time have grappled with these questions. They're big and I think they're important but they can also seem overwhelming and difficult.

Personally I waver on what heaven is like. I believe in it but whether it's a giant library (my favorite) or an eternity worshipping God or something else, I'm not entirely sure.

My favorite story is from the Muslim tradition where in heaven a man's good works are stacked up high as a mountain but they are outweighed by one single gift from God to the man. I think that's very beautiful and so true; God's grace to us overwhelms anything we can do. I find that very humbling and spiritually satisfying.

Another thing I like is that Miller mentions how increasingly people believe that other people can make it to heaven even if they believe something different. I find that positive that even with all the conflict here, people still want other people saved for eternity.

Overall: 4 out of 5. Good job exploring this topic and sparking my imagination about it. It also gave me some titles to add to my list!


  1. Very interesting book. It looks like something I'd like to read. Great review!

  2. Oh this looks like something I'd like to read! I've always been fascinated with people's view of the afterlife :). Thanks!

    I just found your blog recently and you have an award on my blog!


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