Does Heaven Exist?

IT USED TO BE THAT THE HEREAFTER WAS VIRTUALLY PALPABLE, BUT AMERICAN RELIGION NOW SEEMS ALMOST ALLERGIC TO IMAGINING IT. IS PARADISE LOST?

MATT MAHURIN

March 24, 1997 TIME Cover: Does Heaven Exist?

Lo! I shall tell you a mystery. —I Corinthians 15: 51

The sun is shining in an azure sky, mockingbirds are chirping in the snow-white blossoms of the pear trees, and the bees are buzzing from one glorious daffodil to another. It is early March, the middle of Lent, and Catholics all over the world are immersed in contemplation and penance over the passion and suffering of Christ. But just outside the chapel where David Burton is teaching a class for new Catholic initiates, on the green grounds of the Cathedral of the Incarnation in Nashville, Tennessee, the season seems intent...

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