Visions of Heaven and Hell Storytelling and Literature Lecture 1 Sept 5, 2017
The Descent into Hell • The Harrowing of Hell: God miraculously raises people from the dead and descends into hell after his own death on the cross. There he rescues the faithful and opens the door to heaven for them. This is the first thing Jesus Christ does after his crucifixion • Artist as Jesus and this world as Hell: every artist descends into the ‘hell’ of human life, in the sense that he has to engage with the realm of sin and suffering, crime and punishment, darkness and despair to save people either from their blindness, negligence, despair, or desolation.
The Descent of Heaven to Earth • Three Types of Paradise in Bible: Eden, Redeemed Eden, New Eden • Heaven in the Revelation: New Jerusalem • Three Archetypes of Heaven in the Bible: the Kingdom(up there), the garden(down here), and the city(descending from there to here)
Man-made Heaven • Milton, a champion of man-made Heaven: Lycidaswhere he does not need a divine sign for his friend’s place in Heaven. • Herbert’s Heaven, imagined by his poetic languages: based on the idea of the human soul as a finite inner universe corresponding to the macrocosm of infinite existence
Life as Pilgrimage • John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress presenting scenes and characters that embody virtues and sins which may be understood to partake of heaven or hell with an obvious allusion to the vision in Revelation, serving as the typical example for many subsequent literary works presenting one’s life as a personal quest for one’s own heaven.
Heaven and Hell: married and divorced • Blake’s Hellis the state where soul and body/heaven and hell are divided by the existing churches. ) They are in fact inseparable within them and driven by Energy, which is the source of the Poetic Genius. He wants to join heaven and hell through his poetic practices to make a new heaven for himself. • Lewis’s Heavenis rejected by the people who have Hell in their own minds.