Thursday, June 03, 2010

The invention of heaven

Here is Lisa Miller on The Colbert Report talking about the origin of the idea of heaven (she ascribes it to Jews in Jerusalem about 200 years before Christ and as an incentive to not assimilate in the dominant Greek culture). Interesting - I didn't know about the history of this specific idea. However, note some excellent follow-up questions by Colbert - as he pushes on the notions of afterlife in Egyptian and Mesopotamian civilizations way before 200 BC (yes, despite clowning around, his breadth of knowledge is very impressive). Here is a link to Lisa Miller's book, Heaven: Our enduring fascination with the afterlife.

6 comments:

emre said...

When I die I intend to find out what happens to people who turn bad once they get to heaven.

Maybe they have wormholes :)

emre said...

To hell, that is. Or Hades.

Tom Rees said...

The video isn't available in the UK. But Johann Hari, writing in the Independent, wrote a nice article on this topic

Salman Hameed said...

"Wormhole to Hell". Hey - isn't this an AC/DC song? :)

Thanks Tom for the link. And what's up with England not getting the Daily Show or the Colbert Report?? May be if England wins the game against the US on June 12th, then may the British govt. can negotiate a deal for these programs. Oh...but what if there is an upset... ;)

Tom Rees said...

There won't be an upset. This is our chance to revenge 1950!

Health & Translational Medicine said...

Wormhole to Hell? That's a good one.

Thanks so much for introducing me to the Colbert Report; I've read references to it but never got around to looking it up.