Religion in the Age of Enlightenment


Religion in the Age of Enlightenment, review, Phillip C. Almond, heaven and hell


P hilip C. Almond examines the changing concepts of heaven and hell, and the nature of the human soul, as interpreted in England between the second half of the seventeenth century and the early eighteenth century. This book, originally published in 1994, was greatly influenced by two magisterial studies: Daniel P. Walker's The Decline of Hell (Chicago, 1964) and Keith Thomas's Religion and the Decline of Magic (Oxford, 1997), though unfortunately Almond's primary points of departure and contributions are not especially clear. The final product will appeal to a more narrow audience than the title would suggest, but Almond presents interesting material throughout.