Maps of Heaven, Maps of Hell: Religious Terror as Memory from the Puritans to Stephen King

Synopsis

Puritan theology maintained the "men need to be terrified, so that they may be converted". Yet the fear of self-loss at the heart of religious conversion was, oddly enough, similar to the fear provoked by witchery and demonic possession. Thus terror entered American culture partly by way of religious sanction, and it continues to be an important social tool for the shaping of hearts and minds. This book defines the use of terror in the American popular imagination from its beginnings in Puritan sermonizing to its prominent place in contemporary genre film and fiction.