Conference Contribution Details
Mandatory Fields
Nic Cárthaigh, E. and Volmering, N.;
Insular Studies Seminar, University College Cork
Snakes and ladders: the journey of the soul in the Christian tradition.
University College Cork
Oral Presentation
Optional Fields

The concept of the soul's ascent through the various torments and rewards of the Seven Heavens appeared in apocalyptic and cosmological writings in the early centuries A.D. It was widely known throughout the Christian tradition and is found in many texts and many languages including Irish. Detailed descriptions of the ascent of the soul through the heavens appear in various Irish texts from the early to the modern period. This talk will outline the earliest tradition of the Seven Heavens in religious writings and the nature of its eventual emergence as far west as Irish centres of learning.