Postponing Heaven

The Three Nephites, the Bodhisattva, and the Mahdi

Lord, give unto me power over death,
  that I may live and bring souls unto thee.”

—Doctrine & Covenants 7:2

Christianity, like other world religions, surprisingly acknowledges the existence of a plurality of human messiahs. In this comparative work, philosopher Jad Hatem examines Mormonism’s Three Nephites, Buddhism’s Bodhisattva, and Islam’s Mahdi—distinctive messianic figures who postpone Heaven, sacrificially prolonging their lives for the benefit of humankind.

Originally published in French, this translation includes two additional papers written by Jad Hatem dealing with aspects of Latter-day Saint belief and a new interview between Hatem and Latter-day Saint philosopher James E. Faulconer.

Postponing Heaven is the first book in the Maxwell Institute’s new series, Groundwork: Studies in Theory and Scripture.
Groundwork full

[This] book is rich in implications on the significance of human messianicity across religious traditions.

Spencer L. Green

BYU Studies Quarterly

About the Author

Jad Hatem

  Jad Hatem is a professor of philosophy, literature, and religion at St Joseph’s University in Beirut, Lebanon, where he has taught since 1976. He has served as the chair of the philosophy department at the university, as also the director of the Centre d’études Michel Henry. He is the author of dozens of books. Among his most recent publications are Qui est la vérité? (Hermann, 2012), L’Amour comme puissance et comme vérité (Éditions du Cygne, 2012), and Un bruit d’avoir été. Sur Qohélet (Orizons, 2014).


Jonathon Penny

Jonathon Penny (Ph.D., University of Ottawa) is a published poet and scholar of letters whose work examines the intersection of theology and literature. He has taught at universities in the United States, Canada, and the Middle East.

Table of Contents

  • Foreword
  • Translator's Preface
  • Introduction
  • 1. The Vow
  • 2. Nistar
  • 3. Kerygma
  • 4. Contemporaneity
  • 5. Nephite-Mahdite Time
  • 6. Lehi’s Axiom
  • By Way of Conclusion
  • Appendix 1. The Fundamental Law of Opposition: Lehi and Schelling
  • Appendix 2. Yahweh and Jesus
  • Appendix 3. Interview with Jad Hatem
  • Citation Index
View More

Publication Information

  • Publication Month: November
  • Publication Year: 2015
  • Language: English,
  • ISBN 13: 978-0-8425-2867-2
  • Page Count: 100
  • Price: $ 15.95
  • Imprint: Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship

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The views expressed here and in Maxwell Institute publications are those of the individual authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the Maxwell Institute, Brigham Young University, or The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

“Seek ye diligently and teach one another words of wisdom; yea, seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom; seek learning, even by study and also by faith.” (D&C 88:118)