Hell is expected to be hot with Dan Brown’s new ‘Inferno’

Bestselling author Dan Brown’s new work of fiction, “Inferno,” was released Tuesday and the publishing world is lit up with … Continued

Bestselling author Dan Brown’s new work of fiction, “Inferno,” was released Tuesday and the publishing world is lit up with excitement –and expectation. (Read Monica Hesse’s review here.)

Booksellers are expecting big things. Both Barnes & Nobles and Amazon’s book section led with the work, already already listed as Amazon’s #1 bestseller. A buyer for Waterstones, a major European outlet, told the Guardian that they expect “Inferno” to “be the fastest and biggest selling novel of the year.” Has hell ever been this hot?

Blending religious history with layers of mystery has become a winning fiction publishing strategy for Brown. His previous works include “The Da Vinci Code” and “Angels & Demons,” both books turned blockbusting movies. The Post’s Ron Charles reported in March that  “The Da Vinci Code” was the fastest-selling adult hardcover of all time. (At least part of Brown’s “success” is fueled by by the outrage many Christians feel over his fictional license with their sacred teachings–and the inevitable media coverage that follows.)

Brown’s new book, said to blend hellish visions of the future with Dante’s depiction of eternal suffering, also has the to potential to boost sales of the original “Inferno,” written by 14th century Italian poet Dante Alighieri. The Inferno is one of the three parts (including Purgatorio and Paradiso) that make up the “The Divine Comedy,” Alighieri’s epic poem about man’s spiritual journey. The Dante Project at Princeton is online and features lectures and historical background as well as full access to the work.

Hell has also been a hot topic as of late in the Christian publishing world –Christian pastor Rob Bell’s 2011 book, “Love Wins,” touched off months of debate after Bell wrote that he couldn’t reconcile a loving God with eternal damnation. Bell’s book made the New York Times’ bestseller list in 2011.

About

Elizabeth Tenety Elizabeth Tenety is the former editor of On Faith, where she produced "Divine Impulses," On Faith’s video interview series. She studied Theology and Government at Georgetown University and received her master’s degree from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. A New York native, Elizabeth grew up in the home of Catholic news junkies where, somewhere in between watching the nightly news and participating in parish life, she learned to ponder both the superficial and the sacred.
  • ThomasBaum

    If anyone dies and wakes up in hell, so to speak, they will come to the realization that they built it themself.

    Jesus went to hell, as a matter of fact, Jesus went to everyone’s hell, Jesus did this by taking upon Himself the sins of ALL and in doing this “won” the “keys”, so to speak.

    Jesus not only “won” the “keys” to hell but also to death (spiritual and physical), hell and death being the netherworld and will use these “keys” in due time, God’s Time.

    God’s Plan which God has had since before creation is for ALL, ultimately, to be with God in God’s Kingdom.

  • ThomasBaum

    If anyone dies and wakes up in hell, so to speak, they will come to the realization that they built it themself.

    Jesus went to hell, as a matter of fact, Jesus went to everyone’s hell, Jesus did this by taking upon Himself the sins of ALL and in doing this “won” the “keys”, so to speak.

    Jesus not only “won” the “keys” to hell but also to death (spiritual and physical), hell and death being the netherworld and will use these “keys” in due time, God’s Time.

    God’s Plan which God has had since before creation is for ALL, ultimately, to be with God in God’s Kingdom.

  • reformthesystem

    Hell could also be frozen solid for an immortal soul, like that magnet for greed, the Yukon “gold rush” as Robert Service wrote:
    “There are strange things done in the midnight sun,
    by the men who moil for gold;
    The Arctic trails have their secret tales
    That would make your blood run cold;
    The Northern Lights have seen queer sights,
    But the queerest they ever did see
    Was that night on the marge of Lake Lebarge
    I cremated Sam McGee.”

  • reformthesystem

    Hell could also be frozen solid for an immortal soul, like that magnet for greed, the Yukon “gold rush” as Robert Service wrote:
    “There are strange things done in the midnight sun,
    by the men who moil for gold;
    The Arctic trails have their secret tales
    That would make your blood run cold;
    The Northern Lights have seen queer sights,
    But the queerest they ever did see
    Was that night on the marge of Lake Lebarge
    I cremated Sam McGee.”

  • itsthedax

    That’s right.

    God created man with full infallible knowledge of everything that every man would ever do.
    Therefore every man has no freedom of action and must carry out every act that god predestined him to do.
    God holds every man responsible for every action that god requires him to do.
    So god made a copy of himself for the purpose of sacrificing himself to himself so he could allow himself to forgive some of us for doing the sins that god requires us to do.
    But only if we’re lucky enough to be born into the right religion.

  • itsthedax

    That’s right.

    God created man with full infallible knowledge of everything that every man would ever do.
    Therefore every man has no freedom of action and must carry out every act that god predestined him to do.
    God holds every man responsible for every action that god requires him to do.
    So god made a copy of himself for the purpose of sacrificing himself to himself so he could allow himself to forgive some of us for doing the sins that god requires us to do.
    But only if we’re lucky enough to be born into the right religion.

  • ThomasBaum

    God knew that some would never take responsibility for their actions that is why God became One of us and took that responsibility upon Himself.

    Predestination simply means that God knows All, not that we are just puppets on a string and, as you seem to think, if one is on the wrong string then tough.

    Many seem to have a puny “conception” of God including both theists and non-theists.

  • ThomasBaum

    God knew that some would never take responsibility for their actions that is why God became One of us and took that responsibility upon Himself.

    Predestination simply means that God knows All, not that we are just puppets on a string and, as you seem to think, if one is on the wrong string then tough.

    Many seem to have a puny “conception” of God including both theists and non-theists.

  • itsthedax

    So your god has full knowledge of every thought and deed that we will do, and has planned for those actions, and has planned for all the downstream results and consequences of those actions. Since he has it all planned out, how can we have freedom of action?

    If we do anything other than what he has planned, then he is neither omniscient, nor omnipotent.

  • itsthedax

    So your god has full knowledge of every thought and deed that we will do, and has planned for those actions, and has planned for all the downstream results and consequences of those actions. Since he has it all planned out, how can we have freedom of action?

    If we do anything other than what he has planned, then he is neither omniscient, nor omnipotent.

  • ThomasBaum

    I didn’t say that God “planned” everything that one does and thinks but that God knows everything, big difference between knowing and directing one’s thoughts and actions, I guess this is one of the reasons that humans can not “conceive” of God, their “conception” would always fall short.

    God’s Plan is for the reconciliation of ALL.

    Partial free will is no free will at all.

  • ThomasBaum

    I didn’t say that God “planned” everything that one does and thinks but that God knows everything, big difference between knowing and directing one’s thoughts and actions, I guess this is one of the reasons that humans can not “conceive” of God, their “conception” would always fall short.

    God’s Plan is for the reconciliation of ALL.

    Partial free will is no free will at all.

  • itsthedax

    So, if God knows what I’m going to do, can I choose to do something different?

  • itsthedax

    So, if God knows what I’m going to do, can I choose to do something different?

  • ThomasBaum

    It is your choice to do whatever you want, you can even choose to have a puny “conception” of God but that does not mean that your “conception” of God is correct.

  • ThomasBaum

    It is your choice to do whatever you want, you can even choose to have a puny “conception” of God but that does not mean that your “conception” of God is correct.

  • itsthedax

    So, if I can choose to do something other than what your god has known that i will do, then he is neither omniscient nor omnipotent.

    You like to use the word “Puny”, and insult people instead of trying to explain your theology. Does your god want you to insult people who ask questions? Did he tell you to do that? Why are you so defensive?

  • itsthedax

    So, if I can choose to do something other than what your god has known that i will do, then he is neither omniscient nor omnipotent.

    You like to use the word “Puny”, and insult people instead of trying to explain your theology. Does your god want you to insult people who ask questions? Did he tell you to do that? Why are you so defensive?

  • ThomasBaum

    I am not trying to insult anyone, I am just saying that God is not as “small” as people think and it is not just atheists but it is theists that many, many times try to cram God into a ‘box” that God just does not fit into no matter how elegant someone wishes to make that box.

    As far as being “defensive”, your opinion, I find it rather disgusting what some people spew out in God’s Name and as I have said before, I can not see how anyone with a drop of decency running thru their veins could even believe in such a god and call that god good, much less say/think/believe that they are thankful for something like that.

    I am not saying all but many atheists have a “conception” of God that they don’t believe in, maybe even more than one “conception”.

    Except for saying that I know that God Is a Being of Love, there is not much more that I can say knowingly and it is most definitely beyond my ability to conceive of a Being being Love.

    I am not a theologian by any stretch, merely someone chosen to tell the world that God’s Plan is, ultimately, for ALL.

    It’s really sad that so many people that believe in God don’t seem to much care about the “details” of the “afterlife” as long as they get to the “good place”.

    By “details”, I don’t mean details in the normal sense but in the sense that some would go to hell for ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and just don’t seem to care as long as they, personally, don’t.

    How could anyone consider the scenario in the above sentence, Good News?

  • ThomasBaum

    I am not trying to insult anyone, I am just saying that God is not as “small” as people think and it is not just atheists but it is theists that many, many times try to cram God into a ‘box” that God just does not fit into no matter how elegant someone wishes to make that box.

    As far as being “defensive”, your opinion, I find it rather disgusting what some people spew out in God’s Name and as I have said before, I can not see how anyone with a drop of decency running thru their veins could even believe in such a god and call that god good, much less say/think/believe that they are thankful for something like that.

    I am not saying all but many atheists have a “conception” of God that they don’t believe in, maybe even more than one “conception”.

    Except for saying that I know that God Is a Being of Love, there is not much more that I can say knowingly and it is most definitely beyond my ability to conceive of a Being being Love.

    I am not a theologian by any stretch, merely someone chosen to tell the world that God’s Plan is, ultimately, for ALL.

    It’s really sad that so many people that believe in God don’t seem to much care about the “details” of the “afterlife” as long as they get to the “good place”.

    By “details”, I don’t mean details in the normal sense but in the sense that some would go to hell for ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and just don’t seem to care as long as they, personally, don’t.

    How could anyone consider the scenario in the above sentence, Good News?

  • ThomasBaum

    tsthedax

    You asked, “So, if I can choose to do something other than what your god has known that i will do, then he is neither omniscient nor omnipotent.”

    It is “your” choice just because God already knows what choice you will make, does not in any way make it not your choice.

    I wouldn’t say that this is accurate, it doesn’t matter one way or another, but one way to look at it is to think of the universe as a ball on a time line where one outside of both space and time can observe thiis “ball” anywhere on the “time line”.

    We can think of the past on this time line and wonder about the future on this time line but we are always at the ever moving present on this time line.

    God being a Trinity, which I can not explain, can observe, so to speak, anywhere on this time line and at a very specific place on this time line physically became a part of this time line and was still outside of this time line.

  • ThomasBaum

    tsthedax

    You asked, “So, if I can choose to do something other than what your god has known that i will do, then he is neither omniscient nor omnipotent.”

    It is “your” choice just because God already knows what choice you will make, does not in any way make it not your choice.

    I wouldn’t say that this is accurate, it doesn’t matter one way or another, but one way to look at it is to think of the universe as a ball on a time line where one outside of both space and time can observe thiis “ball” anywhere on the “time line”.

    We can think of the past on this time line and wonder about the future on this time line but we are always at the ever moving present on this time line.

    God being a Trinity, which I can not explain, can observe, so to speak, anywhere on this time line and at a very specific place on this time line physically became a part of this time line and was still outside of this time line.

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