Heaven, A History Colleen McDannell & Bernhard Lang Describes and interprets the ways in which believers - from biblical authors to medieval mystics, from theologians to women writers, from Jesus to present-day religious thinkers - have pictured heaven, not just in doctrine but also in poetry, art, literature, and popular culture.
"Renaissance theology insisted that as noble beings we are invited to enjoy rather than renounce the world. The first chapter of Genesis sanctioned the new ideal of an active life, detailing how creative humankind reflects the image of God the Creator."
"True love always respects the needs of our neighbor."
"Our love must not be feigned but sincere, seeking the happiness of our sisters and brothers, and expecting no other profit than their happiness." St. Augustine, 'Commentary on 1 John'
"Martin Luther…saw God as embracing all things, controlling all things, and pervading all things."
"We love God and our neighbor from one and the same love…We cannot attain God without loving our neighbor." St. Augustine, 'On the Trinity'
"Our very being is nothing but subsistence in the one God." John Calvin (1509-1564)
"The heart's life is love, hence it is wholly impossible that there be a heart wishing to live without love." Hugh of St. Victor (d. 1141),
"God created the empyrean or highest heaven as a pure and simple radiance encircling and enclosing all the heavens and every corporeal and material thing which he ever created." John Ruysbroeck (1293-1381),
"Each life is a part of sacred history."
"According to each part, both soul and body, the human being was made good by a good God." St. Augustine, 'On Continence'
"The message of Jesus issued directly from being possessed by a definite experience of God and a notion of the divine will."
"External joys are shallow without the corresponding internal joys. The internal values of charity, love, wisdom, and truth – which issue from the divine – make the external delights eternally joyful."