Holy Cross Professor Writes on Heaven in Christian Thought

Joanne Pierce, professor of religious studies. Photo by Rob Carlin

The Conversation

The belief in an afterlife is an important part of the Christian tradition. And unsurprisingly, there are many competing images of what that would look like and who would be allowed in.

In an article for The Conversation, Joanne Pierce, professor of religious studies at Holy Cross, breaks down the Christian idea of heaven, from the earliest beliefs that eternal life in heaven was promised only to the "extraordinarily virtuous, such as the saints," to contemporary views that even non-believers and animal companions should be admitted.

Pierce ultimately suggests that one theme has stood the test of time which is that "Heaven is the presence of God, in the company of others who have responded to God’s call in their own lives."

To read the full article, go to The Conversation. Please also note the article "What Is Hell," written by Joanne Pierce for The Conversation, in which she traces the conceptual evolution of hell through different cultures.