Scala/Art Resource, NY

ON THE COVER: Jesus rescues Adam, Moses, David, Abel and other Old Testament saints from Hell, in Fra Angelico’s 15th-century painting. Demons cower in the corners, and Satan is flattened by the Gate of Hell, which came crashing down when Jesus floated in on his cloud. Images of Jesus’ descent into Hell are common in Christian art—the tale dates as early as the second century C.E. In “The Harrowing of Hell,” authors Hornik and Parsons explain how the story of Jesus’ descent arose—and then descended into oblivion. For a detailed description of the painting, see the sidebar to “The Harrowing of Hell” entitled “Who’s Who in Hell.”