What Does Heaven Look Like?
The Getty Center
Date: Thursday, July 26, 2012
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Location: Harold M. Williams Auditorium
From medieval depictions of Christ's Passion and crucifixion to paintings of the Buddha's entry to nirvana, artists and worshippers have been fascinated by visions of death and the afterlife. But visions of heaven, hell, and purgatory have also been used to convert believers, to inspire good behavior, and to strike fear in the hearts of sinners. How have historical events and shifting values changed the way different societies imagined the afterlife? Do idealized images of the dying teach us anything about a culture's everyday experience of death? And what allure, if any, do depictions of heaven and hell still hold for us today? Buddhism expert Robert Buswell from the University of California, Los Angeles; anthropologist and expert in Pueblo Indian beliefs Peter Nabokov from UCLA; Martin Schwarz, curator of the exhibition Heaven, Hell, and Dying Well: Images of Death in the Middle Ages; and Jeffrey Burton Russell, author of A History of Heaven, reflect on depictions of death and the afterlifefrom the medieval period to the presentand what they say about the cultures that create them. Moderated by Jody Hassett Sanchez, producer and documentary filmmaker. Complements the exhibition Heaven, Hell, and Dying Well: Images of Death in the Middle Ages
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