4 Pages


From a cross-cultural perspective, in the Western religious traditions, heaven is conceived as a location beyond the mundane world, whereas devotional Buddhism envisions Pure Lands located in a westerly direction. Whether East or West, heaven is usually conceived as a place of beauty, harmony, peace, and pleasure. Heaven stands in sharp opposition to hell, which is conceived as an absence of reality in comparison to heaven. Heaven is best grasped by a metaphor, such as a kingdom, temple, court, garden, city, or celestial sphere in Hebrew thought. Diverse religious traditions conceive of its particular aspects differently and use different metaphors.