It would be disingenuous of me to claim that I know for certain what happens when we die and what follows. Mediumistic communication is a slippery subject, and I am aware of its potential pitfalls. But I am also widely read in the area, and what I've tried to show here is the remarkable richness of the best of spirit literature.
A thriller incorporating the work of the 14th century poet Dante Alighieri, 18th century philosopher Thomas Malthus and 21st century gene manipulation, the novel puts into perspective differences between Catholic and Jewish visions of hell, and the way our respective histories have shaped our contemporary circumstances.
These questions come to me as, almost simultaneously, the pope resigns, America's leading newspaper reports day after day about continuing sexual abuse, homosexual culture and political intrigue in the Church, and Professor Wills, this country's most longstanding and prolific Catholic gadfly, publishes perhaps his most iconoclastic book yet about Christian faith.