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on February 14, 2012
That is what impressed me about this book. It is the story of how human beings moved from central players in an eternal cosmic drama to an almost inconceivable insignificance facing "eternal" annihilation, with no trace left and no "memory" of us ever having been here at all. It is the story of the author's vigorous but ultimately impotent objection. In that sense, it is only tangentially about Church history, as exceedingly competent as that clearly is. This is a book that seeks to raise the question, for those interested to entertain it, of what grounds remain for doing theology at all. To me, that is an important question. If it's important to you, then you'll find this book well worth the read. I gave it 4 stars because, as another reviewer complains, no mention was made of Darwin, and this is an important omission. But frankly, such mention was not necessary, because there is already so much written about the impact of evolution on Christian thinking. This is a wholly different and I think far more riveting perspective on the impact of another branch of the sciences.
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on August 28, 2010
I loved, loved, loved this book! I just finished it and have decided to go back and re-read it. There is so much to absorb (thank goodness for my Kindle with its dictionary). My book club read Waiting for Snow in Havana and that is when I knew I would read everything by Mr. Eire. I would recommend this book for anyone who has ever considered the question where did we come from and where are we going? Mr. Eire does not attempt to answer as much as provide the means to examine the question. And this he does by providing the history of the ever evolving concept of eternity in Western Civilization. This book is an easy read for such a ponderous topic--filled with references to art, religion, poetry, philosophy and above all humor. You cannot read it without laughing out loud. Who would imagine that this topic could be so enjoyable. Read it, you won't be disappointed.
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on July 21, 2013
Carlos Eire certainly is one of the most accomplished scholars today.This book is a very easy to read and full of information not found in other books of its kind. Thank you for a delightful read.
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on May 31, 2011
MR Erie usted es un INTELECTUAL de grandes quilates, pero a usted se le olvido incluir en la primera pagina de su libro, "A VERY BRIEF HISTORY OF ETERTNITY", la siguiente dedicatoria: LA MUERTE ESTA TAN SEGURA DE SU VICTORIA QUE NOS DA TODA LA VIDA DE VENTAJA.
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on December 5, 2010
As a "very brief review," all I can say is I enjoyed the content and style of the book very much. I loved the self-deprecating humor. Somehow I hoped the author would have an answer to my curiosity about an afterlife. But, not all questions have answers, do they?
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on September 18, 2013
Its an academic book, not too suitable for a group study otherwise a very complete review of how various groups viewed eternity over the last 2000 years.
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on August 21, 2013
This book along side Bill Bryson's "A Short History of Nearly Everything" is great reading. Both worth the time and effort.
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on March 13, 2010
This book is brilliantly written in an easy-to-read but amazingly erudite fashion. The author captures profound insights of religious figures, mostly Christian, and explains them in language that is very easy to read and understand. I have studied my Christian faith all my life but this book is the best I've read at pulling all the disparate views of this core doctrine into one coherent explanation of its historical development. It was hard to put this book down, not a comment often heard about a book on this topic.

No matter your faith or lack of one, this book will help you to better understand how the notion of eternal life has profoundly affected human societies around the world.
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on August 2, 2010
I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this book. It is very readable, with occasional humor, and not too deep. I gave my adult son this as a gift, so you know I liked it.
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on December 14, 2009
This is not a theological book, but a history book by a beautiful, dare I say heavenly, writer who happens to be a brilliant historian as well.
Professor Eire presents information about how people defined eternity throughout history to help them cope with the awful thought that everyone must die. For a subject we often prefer to avoid thinking about nowadays, we learn even as we occasionally smile at some lovely phrases or personal insights and I even laughed out loud at some ideas. Professor Eire is that rare educator who is kind to his readers. I highly recommend this book both for its information and its pleasant to read style.
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