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(1,149 words)

Author(s): Welker, Michael
1. Meaning From antiquity onward, across various cultures, the concept of heaven unites and distinguishes several notions and systems of reference. 1.1. Heaven is what people see above the earth, marking it off or securing it (i.e., the firmament). It is sometimes regarded as a material half-globe or a disk arching over the earth. 1.2. Heaven is also a syndrome of powers and uncontrollable forces. We cannot directly measure or manipulate it. It has a decisive impact on life on earth by granting or withholding life and water, also by sending storms, hail, and so forth. 1.3. Heaven is the pl…