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REL 234: History of Heaven and Hell: Primary and Secondary Sources

Primary Source Databases

Primary sources are materials which were created closest to the person, historical event, or time period being studied. For this topic, examples include pieces of art, literature, or movies.

The database below provide primary source information:

Your Professor has also provided a list of Primary Text Resources as well. 


  • As Above, So Below (2014)
  • Blitz Wolf (1942 short film)
  • Bruce Almighty
  • The Conjuring (2013)
  • Constantine (2005)
  • Curse of the Demon (1957)
  • Dante’s Inferno (1935)
  • Dante’s Inferno: Animated Epic (2010, based on the video game)
  • Defending Your Life (1991)
  • The Devil’s Advocate (1997)
  • The Devil’s Carnival (2012, musical horror film)
  • Djinn (2013)
  • Dogma (1999)
  • Errementari (The Blacksmith) (2017, Basque)
  • Frailty (2001) [prime]
  • Haxan (1922)
  • Heaven is Real (based on the book, later discredited)
  • Hellboy (along with sequels and a reboot)
  • Hellmouth
  • House of the Devil (1896, silent film)
  • JeruZalem (2015, Israeli film) [roku]
  • Last Temptation of Christ (1988)
  • Legend (1985)
  • Legion (2010)
  • L’inferno (1911, first full length Italian film)
  • Jigoku: Japanese Hell (1999)
  • Jinn (2014)
  • The Mindscape of Alan Moore (2003)
  • Noah (2014)
  • The Omen (1976, and later sequels and a recent reboot)
  • The Prophecy (series)
  • Seventh Moon (2008)
  • The Seventh Seal
  • Silly Symphony’s Hell’s Bells (1929 animated short film)
  • This is the End (2013)
  • Time Bandits (1981)
  • What Dreams May Come (1998)

TV Shows:

  • “Good Omen”
  • “The Good Place”
  • “Lucifer”


  • Dante’s Inferno (2010, video game)
  • Hellboy (comic book)
  • Hell On-Line (an extensive bibliography of sources that depict hell in various religions)

Secondary Sources

Secondary sources offer interpretation or commentary on primary sources. They are the “product” of scholars doing research. Secondary sources, therefore, can be argued with, criticized, or defended against criticism. Examples of secondary sources include:

  • Monographs (Scholarly books)
  • Biographies
  • Commentaries
  • Critical works
  • Documentaries
  • Reviews
  • Peer-reviewed journals
Below are resources for secondary sources:

Your Professor has also provided Secondary Sources relevant to your coursework


Auffarth, Christopher and Loren Stuckenbruck, The Fall of the Angels (2014)

Bodman, Whitney, The Poetics of Iblis: Narrative Theology in the Qur’an (2011)

Brown, Peter. The Ransom of the Soul. 2015 [ebook]

Colby, Frederick, Narrating Muhammad’s Night Journey (2008) [ebook]

Cook, David, Contemporary Muslim Apocalyptic Literature (2005)

De La Torre, Miguel and Albert Hernández, The Quest for the Historical Satan.

Dendle, Peter, Satan Unbound: The Devil in Old English Narrative Literature (2001)

De Villiers, Marq, Hell and Damnation: A Sinner’s Guide to Eternal Torment (2019) [ebook in library]

Ehrman, Bart, Heaven and Hell: A History of the Afterlife (2020)

Eliade, Mircea, A History of Religious Ideas, (1978): BL48.E3813

Kelly, Henry Ansgar, Satan: A Biography (2006)

Khalil, Mohammad, Islam and the Fate of Others (2012)

Lange, Christian, Paradise and Hell in Islamic Traditions (2016): BP166.8 .L36 2016

McDannell, Colleen, Heaven: A History (1988): BT846.2.M37 1988

Mermelstein and Holtz (eds.), The Divine Courtroom in Comparative Perspective (2014)

Poonawala, "Shi'ite Apocalyptic" in M. Eliade, ed., Encyclopedia of World Religions

Rustomji, Nerina. The Garden and the Fire: Heaven and Hell in Islamic Culture. New York: Columbia University Press, 2009.

Segal, Alan, Life After Death: A History of the Afterlife in Religions of the West (2004): BL535 .S438 2004

Stausber, Michael, “Hell in Zoroastrian History” (2009)

Turner, Alice. The History of Hell. 1993. BL545 .T87 1993

Ulansey, David, The Origins of the Mithraic Mysteries: Cosmology and Salvation in the Ancient World (1988)

Walls, The Oxford Handbooks of Eschatology (2008)

Zaleski, Carol. Otherworld Journeys: Accounts of Near-Death Experience in Medieval and Modern Times. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1987.



Abrahamov, “The Creation and Duration of Paradise and Hell in Islamic Theology

Alexander, Paul, “Medieval Apocalypses as Historical Sources” (1968)

Aune, David, “The Apocalypse of John and Palestinian Jewish Apocalyptic” (2006)

Bassett, Jonathan, “Fears of Finitude and Eternity: Attitudes about Immortality and the Afterlife in Selected Movies,” (2014)

Boureau, Alain, Satan the Heretic: The Birth of Demonology in the Medieval West (2006)

Bremmer, Jan M. “Tours of Hell: Greek, Jewish, Roman and Early Christian” in Topographie des Jenseits: Studien zur Geschichte des Todes in Kaiserzeit und Spätanantike. Ed. Walter Ameling. Stuttgart: Franz Steiner, 2011, pp. 13–34

Buell, Denise, “The Afterlife is Not Dead: Spiritualism, Postcolonial Theory, and Early Christian Studies” (2009)

Burris and Bailey, “What Lies Beyond: Theory and Measurement of Afterdeath Beliefs” (2009)

Cavallaro, Daniela. “Go and Sin No More: The Afterlife as Moral Teaching in Italian Catholic Educational Theatre.” Religions Vol 10.9 (2019), 517

Edwards, Emily, Metaphysical Media: The Occult Experience in Popular Culture (2005)

Frankfurter, David, Evil Incarnate: Rumors of Demonic Conspiracy and Ritual Abuse in History (2006)

Gardiner, Eileen, ed. Zoroastrian Hell: Visions, Tours and Descriptions of the Infernal Otherworld. Second Edition. New York: Italica Press, 2013.

Gin, Kathryn, “’The Heavenization of Earth’: African American Visions and Uses of the Afterlife, 1863-1901” (2010)

Kinberg, Leah, “Interaction between This World and the Afterworld in Early Islamic Tradition” (1986)

Kriwaczek, Paul, In Search of Zarathustra: The First Prophet and the Ideas that Changed the World (2003)

Kueny, Kathryn, “Tasting Fire: Affective Turn in Qur’anic Depictions of Divine Punishment” (2019)

Landes, Heaven and Earth (2011)

Mehr, Farhang, The Zoroastrian Tradition: An Introduction to the Ancient Wisdom of Zarathustra (2003)

O’Shaughnessy, Thomas, “The Seven Names for Hell in the Qur’an” (1961)

Tillier, Mathieu, “The Qadi Before the Judge: The Social Use of Eschatology in Muslim Courts” (2014) (chapter in ebook)