The period between 1300 and 1500 has been classified as the later Middle Ages, with Heaven finding a significant place in the minds of society at the time. Arguments and critics have surrounding the issue of Heaven as a state or a place, with the perceptions during the later Middle Ages forming a significant time period in the debate. However, arguably, heaven in the later Middle Ages was more regarding as a place within the perception of individuals, with elements of tangible, locational nature evident in much of the literature surrounding the debate.
It has been highlighted throughout the later middle ages that heaven was demonstrated as the house of God, giving it a residence in the universe. The medieval ideas surrounding the tangible nature of heaven, consistently demonstrate heaven, firstly, as a “divine kingdom”. There, therefore, solidifies the belief of it as a ‘place’ in the perceptions of the society in the middle ages. Perceptions surrounded the ideas of heaven, highlighting it as a place of special protection. This notion was regarded highly for those individuals dubbed a saint, as the belief of heaven and the transnational state were highlighted as they were seen as “physically present on earth through their bodies, yet already received into Heaven”. This idea further solidified the idea of heaven as a location, giving it a nearly tangible perception in the minds of believers in the later Middle Ages. This idea was further demonstrated through the workings of J.B. Russel who highlighted the perception by societies in the Middle Ages of heaven as the location is whic...
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Gardiner, Eileen, Medieval Visions of Heaven and Hell: A Sourcebook (USA: Gerland Medieval Bibliographies, 1993).
Muessig, Carolyn & Putter, Ad (eds.), Envisaging Heaven in the Middle Ages (New York: Taylor & Francis Group, 2007).
Rebin, Miri & Simon, Walter, Cambridge History of Christianity (England: Cambridge University Press, 2009).
Reinis, Austra, Reforming the Art of Dying: The Ars Moriendi in the German Reformation (1519-1528) (England: Ashgate Publishing Ltd, 2007).
Russell, Jeffery Burton, A History of Heaven: The Singing Silence (USA: Princeton University Press, 1997).
Simek, Ruldolf, Heaven and Earth in the Middle Ages, (Great Britain: Boydell Press, 1992).
Zaleski, Carol & Zaleski, Philip (eds.), The Book of Heaven: An Anthology of Writings From Ancient to Modern Times, (USA: Oxford University Press, 2000).
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