How do worshippers understand the poetic line "and the life of the world to come" when they pray the creed? Are they thinking of a geographical destination? A celestial community they will ultimately join? A participation in the life of the Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit?
Questions like these inspired John Craghan to mine the biblical texts for insight and answers about heaven. His exploration of the Christian understanding of the "afterlife" moves through the understandings of ancient Israel to the synoptic Gospels and ultimately to the nascent beliefs of the early Christians as reflected in the letters of Paul and the book of Revelation. Grounded firmly in Scripture and written in a lively accessible style, And the Life of the World to Come is an intellectual and spiritual journey for readers that are willing to explore their own beliefs and anxieties about the heavenly home promised by Jesus.
John F. Craghan is professor emeritus of religious studies at St. Norbert College in De Pere, Wisconsin. He is North American editor for "Scripture in Church" (Dominican Publications: Dublin, Ireland) and is the author of numerous books, including Exodus in the Collegeville Bible Commentary series, Psalms for All Seasons, and The Gospels of the Weekday Lectionary (Liturgical Press). Craghan has lectured widely in the United States and Latin America. His chief interest is to make the best of biblical scholarship accessible to a wider audience.