1 Victor Turner, Dramas, Fields, and Metaphors: Symbolic Action in Human Society (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1974), 263.

2 Gary Laderman, "The Disney Way of Death," Journal of the American Academy of Religion 68/1 (March 2000), 39.

3 See their website at <>. Last accessed September 1, 2004.

4 See their website at <>. Last accessed September 1, 2004.

5 Remains from psychic guru Timothy Leery and Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry were sent into orbit by Celestis in 1997. See their website at <>.

6 In a warning posted on the company's website regarding the color of the diamonds, which can range from "light to intense shades of yellow," there is a curious implication about the biblical metaphor equating sin and stain: "The elements and impurities in your loved one's carbon directly affect the resulting color of your LifeGem(s)." See their website at <>. Last accessed September 1, 2004.

7 Daniel Wojcik, The End of the World as We Know It: Faith, Fatalism, and Apocalypse in America (New York: New York University Press, 1997), 97. This is one of the most illuminating books on the contemporary apocalyptic -in both its popular religion and popular culture modes. Another perceptive analysis of the apocalyptic and eschatological as a germinative idea in culture is Paul S. Fidde's The Promised End: Eschatology in Theology and Literature (Oxford: Blackwell Publishers, 2000).

8 This is one of the central arguments of Paul Ricoeur's Time and Narrative, vol. I (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1984).

9 For an exemplary theological interpretation of the Lord of the Rings, see Ralph Wood's The Gospel According to Tolkien: Visions of the Kingdom in Middle-earth (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2003).

10 Jane Tompkins, West of Everything: The Inner Life of Westerns (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992), 70.

11 John F. Sears, Sacred Places: American Tourist Attractions in the Nineteenth Century (Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts Press, 1998), 12-15.

13 Images of Kinkade's paintings may be found at <http://www.thomaskinkade .com>. Last viewed March 5, 2004.

14 Thomas Kinkade, quoted in "Thomas Kinkade's American Dream," Saturday Evening Post (May 1, 2003).

15 Sharing the Light, 3/2 (Summer 2000).

16 Thomas Kinkade, quoted in Tessa DeCarlo's "Landscapes by the Carload: Art or Kitsch?" New York Times, Art/Architecture section (November 7, 1999), 51.

17 A full record of the Poll-Art project can be found in Painting by Numbers: Komar and Melamid's Scientific Guide to Art, ed. JoAnn Wypijewski (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1997). Details of the project and digital images of all the paintings can also be seen at <> and at <http://www.>. Last viewed September 1, 2004.

18 Although Komar and Melamid claim they've borrowed the model for their landscape not from the Hudson River School, but from the seventeenth-century Italian Renaissance painter Domenichino. See Painting by Numbers, 31.

21 Wassily Kandinsky, Concerning the Spiritual in Art, trans. M.T. Sadler (New York: Dover, 1977), 38.

22 William Kennedy, Ironweed (New York: Penguin Books, 1984).

23 Sheri Reynolds, A Gracious Plenty (New York: Harmony Books, 1997), 33.

24 Alice Sebold, The Lovely Bones: A Novel (Boston: Little, Brown, and Company, 2002).

25 "The Room," episode #6, Six Feet Under, directed by Rodrigo Garcia (HBO, 2001).

26 "I'm Sorry, I'm Lost," episode #39, Six Feet Under, directed by Alan Ball (HBO, 2003).

27 See Peter Brown, The Cult of the Saints (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1981), 127. For his discussion of the origins of feasting at gravesites, see ch. 2.

28 R. David Arkush and Leo O. Lee, eds and trans., Land without Ghosts: Chinese Impressions of America from the Mid-Nineteenth Century to the Present (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1989), 177-80.

29 John S. Mbiti, African Religions and Philosophy, 2nd edn (Oxford: Heinemann International, 1989), 82f, 158f.

30 A few notable exceptions to this are Carol Zaleski, The Life of the World to Come (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996); Jerry Walls, Heaven: The Logic of Eternal Joy (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002); Peter Kreeft, Heaven: The Heart's Deepest Longing (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1989); and the recent book by my own former professor, Arthur O. Roberts, Exploring Heaven: What Great Christian Thinkers Tell Us about Our Afterlife with God (San Francisco: Harper & Row, 2003).

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