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Extended Audio Sample Heaven: Our Enduring Fascination with the Afterlife, by Lisa Miller Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (160 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Lisa Miller Narrator: Linda Emond Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Drawing on history and popular culture, biblical research and the beliefs of everyday people, Heaven offers a new understanding of one of the most cherished—and shared—ideals of spiritual life. In this groundbreaking, accessible history, Lisa Miller raises debates and discussions not just about our visions of the afterlife, but about how our beliefs have influenced the societies we have built and the lifestyles to which we have subscribed, exploring the roots of our beliefs in heaven and how these have evolved throughout the ages to offer comfort and hope. She also reveals how the notion of heaven has been used for manipulation—to promulgate goodness and evil—as inspiration for selfless behavior, and justification for mass murder.

As Miller demonstrates in this absorbing and enlightening book, the desire for a celestial afterlife is universal—shared by the faithful around the world and across religions. It is as old as the Bible itself. While there are many notions of what exactly heaven is and how we get there, Jews, Christians, and Muslims all agree that heaven is God’s home. From the Revelation to the Left Behind series, Augustine to Osama Bin Laden, Muslims in the West Bank to American Mormons baptizing their dead, Heaven is a penetrating look at one of our most cherished religious ideals.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “This fascinating, thoughtful, and challenging study tells us a great deal about what it means to be a human being.” 

    Karen Armstrong, New York Times bestselling author of A History of God and The Case for God

  • “Lisa Miller has long been the fairest and most engaging journalist covering religion in America. In Heaven, she has accomplished the impossible: she has written a book about religion that fundamentalists, moderates, liberals, and nonbelievers alike can read with extreme pleasure.” 

    Sam Harris, New York Times bestselling author of The End of Faith and Letter to a Christian Nation

  • “With grace and insight, Lisa Miller has done a remarkable thing: she has written a wonderful book that weaves together contemporary reporting and historical scholarship, with skill and energy. The result is a smart and accessible take on the ultimate question: what is heaven? Lisa’s book is a good place to begin to find an answer.” 

    Jon Meacham, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of American Lion and American Gospel

  • “A rare combination of journalism, memoir, and historical research by a self-professed skeptic who nonetheless believes in hope, this smart yet heartfelt book leads us into the center of one of the greatest conversations of all time. And Lisa Miller is the perfect conversation partner, regaling us with the wisdom (and folly) not only of the official theologies of the ancients but also of the everyday improvisations of ordinary Americans wrestling with the Big Questions forever swirling around this most audacious of hopes.” 

    Stephen Prothero, New York Times bestselling author of American Jesus and Religious Literacy

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Patina | 2/13/2014

    " Really interesting to learn about different religious views and interpretations of heaven. However, it ended with an all-too-familiar 'we're all okay and as long as we like each other & smile, nothing else really matters' stance. you can't create your own reality. Or, you can, but it won't last. As Peter Kreeft says 'tolerance is not love'. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Roseana | 2/1/2014

    " What I suspected all along: Our favorite notions about what heaven is like are informed largely by lots of sources outside Scripture. We've incorporated everything from Zoroastrianism to Swedenborgianism into a vision of a place where we'll see all our loved ones when we die, etc., etc. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Kara Vehar | 1/19/2014

    " I loved this book! So many differnt perspectives yet the same outcome. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Melissa S. | 1/12/2014

    " Wonderful and engaging. Miller did a great job talking about just about every angle on the topic of heaven and how it has changed and evolved through the centuries. I appreciated the open view of orthodox religions as well as their more open-minded counterparts. The author did her best to remain objective and present each view fairly, without adding her own bias. That was refreshing! This is a wonderful read for anyone interested in learning more about the views of others as well as thinking more deeply about their own personal beliefs and how those closely held views came to be. "

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