What does heaven look like?

Perhaps it is not surprising that images of heaven abound, but people can’t help but wonder what heaven looks like? Because the concept of heaven has changed a lot over time.

Until the late 17th century, Heaven was mainly about Beatific Vision. The perfect happiness of eternity in Heaven includes worship, praise and adoration of God along with angels, saints, martyrs, Old Testament worthy people and even some pagans as noble as the great philosophers Plato and Aristotle.

Heaven is about seeing God “face-to-face” , not through “a dark glass” . It is an eternity centered on God or the heavenly Christ. Thus, Fra Angelico’s Last Judgment (1425-30) shows Christ sitting on a throne surrounded by angels, Mary, and saints. His right hand points to Heaven, his left hand to Hell. To the right of Christ, angels are transporting the saved through a garden of paradise to a city in heaven, while to his left, demons are sending the wicked to Hell.

What does heaven look like?
The fresco of Christ the Redeemer in glory by Niccolo Circignani Il Pomarancio (1588) in the Basilica di Santi Giovanni e Paolo in Rome, Italy. Western art is replete with images depicting Christian paradise. (Image: Getty Images).

Traditional Judaism is somewhat more discreet about the next life. But when it comes to it, it is mainly based on the spiritual vision of God. As a third-century rabbi explained: “In the world to come there is no eating, no drinking, no mating, no trading, no jealousy, no enmity; instead, the righteous sit with the king. crown and enjoy the splendor of the divine supreme.”

Islam also has the idea of miraculous vision. But Heaven is also a place of sensual pleasures. In the Muslim Paradise, the lucky will reside in happy gardens, on benches facing each other. A cup of good wine from the stream will be passed on to those who do no evil. Fruit and meat will be available. And there will be maidens, “with black eyes, as large as hidden gems The Reward for what they have done” (Quran 56,22-4).

But from the mid-18th century to the end of the 19th century, the concept of Heaven underwent a gradual shift to focus on human activities. The medieval notion that people in Heaven would be happier if they could see the sufferings of the damned in hell had disappeared, especially as people were more disgruntled at the sight of public suffering. statements of others. The concept of hell as a place of eternal corporal punishment has begun to disappear, replaced by the notion that all can be saved in the end, at least if they so desire.

What does heaven look like?
The modern paradise has been romanticized. Lovers will also meet again.

Heaven is closer today than it was in the beginning – only a thin curtain separates the living from the dead. It is also a continuation of material existence , only without the sufferings of this present life. Although Heaven is still a resting place, the saved are increasingly proactive, creating an environment filled with joy. Human love has replaced the primacy of divine love. The relationship between people becomes the foundation for the afterlife along with the concept that family and relatives will be reunited. The modern paradise has been romanticized. Lovers will also meet again.

However, despite our today’s uncertainty about the existence of an afterlife , Heaven is considered a state after death in which we continue to have a sense of self and memories of our life on Earth. Along with this, there remains the belief that we will be reunited with those we love on this earth. Life there, as on this earth, will be a place where good people live happily, love, and grow morally, intellectually, and spiritually.

Although we will no longer be in the physical body, there is still hope that we will be ourselves. In short, this life, despite all its sorrows and sufferings, gives us a glimpse of the life after. It is believed that the next life will be perfect if in the present life, we do good and avoid evil.