Throughout history and across cultures, people have shared the hope and the belief that somehow something about the human person survives death. Indeed, it seems that without a notion of life-after-death, this life would seem meaningless. If, in the end, everything we have strived for and all our love comes to naught and is simply swallowed up by nothingness, then what was the point of it all? In From Here to Eternity, Randall Smith shows how the Christian doctrines regarding the resurrection of the body and the communion of saints provide an understanding of life after death as a meaningful fulfillment of this life, not a negation of it.
RANDALL B. SMITH is Professor of Theology at the University of St. Thomas in Houston, Texas. He received his B.A. in Chemistry at Cornell College, an M.A. in Theology at the University of Dallas, and his M.M.S and Ph.D. Medieval Studies and Philosophy at the University of Notre Dame under the direction of Ralph McInerny. He is the author of Reading the Sermons of Thomas Aquinas: A Beginner’s Guide and Aquinas, Bonaventure, and the Scholastic Culture of Medieval Paris. He writes regularly for The Catholic Thing.
“Pretty much all the important questions are in this book. Randall Smith has looked at death from every angle, and he has given us an extraordinary testimony to Christian faith in the face of it. In this eminently reasonable and readable guide, Smith shows himself to be a profound master of the most sacred and important things. This is a book that everyone needs.”
James N. Perry Jr. and Mary D. Perry Chair of Theology, Mundelein Seminary
“Randall Smith’s new book From Here to Eternity is both delightful and wise. The author marshals stoic sages, insightful poets, contemporary psychologists, Christian saints, and most of all Jesus Christ to help us reflect on what death and the Resurrection are really about. In prose both clear and profound, Smith raises the ultimate questions that arise from the human reality of death and offers consoling answers. This book is so good, I may teach a course on the topic of death just so I can have my students read it.”
Professor of Philosophy, Loyola Marymount University and Author of The Seven Big Myths about the Catholic Church
“Catholic teaching on the four last things has faded from the collective consciousness of the Western world. Yet, as recent events have reminded us, the reality of our mortality is something every person must face. Our culture, no matter how confused, has never stopped hoping for a newer and better life beyond death. In From Here to Eternity, Randall Smith illuminates these perennial questions of the human heart with penetrating insight that is at once accessible and profound. He reminds us of the wisdom of the greatest teachers of our tradition, stirring us to hope and eternal healing in Christ. I highly recommend it.”
Founder and Editor of CatholicGentleman.com
“Discovering the meaning of death unlocks the purpose of life. Over and against the limits of ancient myth and the distortions of modern utopian visions, Christ’s resurrection has made death into a source of hope. Randall Smith helps us to face the reality of death, seeing in it a choice either to rebel against the limits of life or accept them as a sacrificial means of entering into the greater gift of life in Christ.”
Associate Superintendent for Mission and Formation, Archdiocese of Denver and Author of The Priority of God
“If Catholics are going to re-evangelize a decadent West, we will have to speak prophetically about the reality of death and the hope of Resurrection. Randall Smith shows us the way with this engaging meditation on humanity’s standing before God in light of eternity. Characterized by impressive theological depth, Smith weaves together the wisdom of the Catholic tradition with illuminating references to literature and film. The final product is a moving spiritual reflection on what it means to be a finite creature subject to death yet destined for eternal communion with the Triune God.”
Professor, Author, and Co-Host of “The Uncommon Good”