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Anastasis: The Harrowing of Hades Paperback – July 7, 2017
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"I could not stop reading it. And now, even after having finished it, I cannot stop thinking about it. This book should be distributed to every Orthodox teen in America (OCF and Church School Leaders, this is a great Christmas gift idea for you to give to your kids). Godparents, parents, and all Orthodox Christians: Christmas is coming, buy and give this book. You won't regret it." Benjamin Cabe, Conciliar Post
"An excellent introduction to the theological heritage of Holy Saturday that has been too long neglected as we rush from Good Friday to Easter Sunday." Brad Jersak, Clarion Journal of Spirituality and Justice
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This particular book deals with the very real matter of the Harrowing of Hell and the setting begins before the Resurrection of Christ. Some parents have mentioned they think it might be inappropriate for children but I want to reassure you that it is very delicately done. Michael's art is well balanced and while he does portray Death and Satan with his demons, he is careful to not dwell on those images. They represent only two out of forty-seven pages.Those particular pages involve little detail and rely on their starkness to express the gravity of the moment. There is a seriousness and a gravity without being graphic in any sense. This does not mean that Michael minimizes the very real presence of the Evil One but rather he wants to remind children of what it is that we have been saved from without frightening them.
These are big thoughts for children to wrestle with, they are big thoughts for me to wrestle with at times, and images often help with framing the discussion. This is why we have icons. This is why a graphic novel is an excellent way of teaching these truths, these events. You can not avoid teaching these uncomfortable things with your children, the existence of Satan, of Hades, of Evil, but discussing these things can be complicated and difficult to find a framework for and this book can establish that framework. I wish I had this book back during Great Lent so we could remind our children of what it means when we sing that Christ has trampled down death by death. For that matter, I wish we would have had it when my father died of cancer after a terrifyingly fast battle. I wish we had it when my father-in-law had died of a sudden massive heart attack. I did not have it then but I do I have it now and we will regularly read it so that my children will not forget that death is destroyed, the curse annulled, and Adam and Eve set free.