Inventing Hell: Dante, The Bible And Eternal Torment  -     By: Jon Sweeney
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Inventing Hell: Dante, The Bible And Eternal Torment

Jericho Books / 2014 / Paperback

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Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 224
Vendor: Jericho Books
Publication Date: 2014
Dimensions: 8 X 5.25 (inches)
ISBN: 1455582247
ISBN-13: 9781455582242

Publisher's Description

Hell: The word means terror, darkness, and eternal separation from God. Some people think the Bible is clear about hell, but what if they're mistaken?

With gripping narrative and solid scholarship, Sweeney charts hell's "evolution" from the Old Testament underworld Sheol, through history and literature, to the greatest influencer of all: Dante's Inferno. He reveals how the modern idea of hell is based mostly on Dante's imaginative genius-but in the process, he offers a more constructive understanding of the afterlife than ever before.

Disturbing and enthralling, Sweeney will forever alter what we think happens to us after we die-and more importantly, he will make us reconsider how we live.

Author Bio

Jon M. Sweeney is an independent scholar, culture critic, and popular speaker with 25 years of experience in spirituality trade publishing. Raised a fundamentalist Protestant, today Jon is a Catholic who prefers a monastic-style practice.

Editorial Reviews

"Sweeney becomes our Virgil, ably and cannily leading readers through the circles that culminate in the picture of Hell invented by Dante and that Christianity, and western culture, has long embraced."—Publishers Weekly
"An inquisitive and theologically relevant conversation starter about the difficulty of tracking myths' migrations across cultures and about their ability to spawn new myths for pondering the unknowable."—The Christian Century
"Jon Sweeney succeeds in giving historical and literary backup to what many of us have concluded theologically: If God is presented as one who actually tortures those who do not like him, we have a God who does not 'practice what he preaches!'"


Fr. Richard Rohr, Center for Action and Contemplation
"I don't recommend a stay in hell. But I highly recommend this book on it!"—James Martin, SJ, author, Jesus: A Pilgrimage
"Beguiling and totally delicious...solidly crafted and deadly serious. Sweeney has taken on one of the most convoluted and dangerous areas of theology and deftly shown not only its ideational history, but also its human ramifications. His scholarship is impeccable and his sense of humor ubiquitous. Dante himself would have loved this one!"—Phyllis Tickle, author, The Age of the Spirit
"I don't recommend a stay in hell. But I highly recommend this book on it!"—James Martin, SJ, author, Jesus: A Pilgrimage
"Clear and engaging... How refreshing to read a book which recognizes that fear does not inspire morality and no one faith is given the key to paradise. In fact, it's heavenly!"—Rabbi Sandy Eisenberg Sasso, Director of Religion, Butler University
"If you let Jon Sweeney be your tour guide to Hell, you'll love the journey. You'll learn a lot about what you thought was in the Bible, but isn't, and about what you thought you knew about Hell, but now need to rethink. Jon's writing is a delight on every page."—Brian D. McLaren, author, We Make the Road by Walking
"Far from a dry, academic discourse INVENTING HELL makes for great reading. The book reveals the little known confluence of theology, culture, and literature that has shaped our notions of the afterlife. Every minister, priest, rabbi, and sheikh needs to read this book, and so do we all."—Rabbi David Zaslow, author, Jesus: First-Century Rabbi

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