A Very Brief History of Eternity

A Very Brief History of Eternity

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by Carlos Eire
     
 

What is eternity? Is it anything other than a purely abstract concept, totally unrelated to our lives? A mere hope? A frightfully uncertain horizon? Or is it a certainty, shared by priest and scientist alike, and an essential element in all human relations?

In A Very Brief History of Eternity, Carlos Eire, the historian and National Book Award-winning

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Overview

What is eternity? Is it anything other than a purely abstract concept, totally unrelated to our lives? A mere hope? A frightfully uncertain horizon? Or is it a certainty, shared by priest and scientist alike, and an essential element in all human relations?

In A Very Brief History of Eternity, Carlos Eire, the historian and National Book Award-winning author of Waiting for Snow in Havana, has written a brilliant history of eternity in Western culture. Tracing the idea from ancient times to the present, Eire examines the rise and fall of five different conceptions of eternity, exploring how they developed and how they have helped shape individual and collective self-understanding.

A book about lived beliefs and their relationship to social and political realities, A Very Brief History of Eternity is also about unbelief, and the tangled and often rancorous relation between faith and reason. Its subject is the largest subject of all, one that has taxed minds great and small for centuries, and will forever be of human interest, intellectually, spiritually, and viscerally.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780691133577
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
10/12/2009
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
286
Product dimensions:
5.80(w) x 8.70(h) x 0.90(d)

Table of Contents


List of Illustrations ix

Acknowledgments xi

Chapter I: Big Bang, Big Sleep, Big Problem 1

Chapter II: Eternity Conceived 28

Chapter III: Eternity Overflowing 67

Chapter IV: Eternity Reformed 100

Chapter V: From Eternity to Five-Year Plans 157

Chapter VI: Not Here, Not Now, Not Ever 220

Appendix: Common Conceptions of Eternity 229

Notes 233

Eternity: A Basic Bibliography 255

Index 259

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