- List of Contributors
- What Is Apocalyptic Literature?
- Apocalyptic Prophecy
- The Inheritance of Prophecy in Apocalypse
- Wisdom and Apocalypticism
- Scriptural Interpretation in Early Jewish Apocalypses
- Apocalyptic Literature and the Study of Early Jewish Mysticism
- Dreams and Visions in Early Jewish and Early Christian Apocalypses and Apocalypticism
- Social-Scientific Approaches to Apocalyptic Literature
- Jewish Apocalyptic Literature as Resistance Literature
- Apocalypse and Empire
- A Postcolonial Reading of Apocalyptic Literature
- The Rhetoric of Jewish Apocalyptic Literature
- Early Christian Apocalyptic Rhetoric
- Deconstructing Apocalyptic Literalist Allegory
- Apocalyptic Determinism
- Apocalyptic Dualism
- Apocalyptic Ethics and Behavior
- Apocalypse and Torah in Ancient Judaism
- Apocalypticism and Christian Origins
- Descents to Hell and Ascents to Heaven in Apocalyptic Literature
- Apocalypses among Gnostics and Manichaeans
- The Imagined World of the Apocalypses
- Messianism as a Political Power in Contemporary Judaism
- Apocalypticism and Radicalism
- Apocalypse and Violence
- Apocalypticism in Contemporary Christianity
- Apocalypse and Trauma
- Apocalypticism and Popular Culture
- Scriptural and Ancient Texts
- Subject Index
Abstract and Keywords
This chapter examines the themes of descent to hell and ascent to heaven in apocalyptic literature, focusing on the period from Homer to late antiquity. It discusses the diachronic developments and interrelationships of descents and ascents within Jewish and Greco-Roman contexts. After considering descents into the underworld in the classical world, that is, ancient Greece, it turns to a series of apocalyptic texts composed most probably in Palestine with Enoch. It then looks at descents in ancient Rome and in early Christianity, the ascent of the soul to heaven, and ascent to immortal heavenly life.
Jan N. Bremmer is Emeritus Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Groningen. His books include Greek Religion and Culture, the Bible and the Ancient Near East and The Rise of Christianity through the Eyes of Gibbon, Harnack and Rodney Stark.
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