Andrew M. Greeley, the prolific director of the Center for the Study of Pluralism at the National Opinion Research Center of the University of Chicago, has written a succinct, well-reasoned, and appealing tome on death and "intimations of immortality." Springtime has always provided a few hints that death and rebirth are closely connected. And of the Christian, Easter signified "the revelation that it is all right to hope."
Greeley offers some fascinating sociological data to show how belief and hope in a continuing life is alive and well in our culture. The persistence of mystical experience among contemporary Americans, for example, is testimony to our propensity to hope. Rather than being an other-worldly religion, Christianity is resolutely for this world. Or as G. K. Chesterton commented: "It is absurd that Christians should be called the enemies of life because they wish life to last forever." Greeley's little book makes that point in a most vivid and instructive way.