Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997)
Limbo

An Afterlife region identified by Dante as the First Circle of Hell, to which the Souls of virtuous pagans and unbaptized children are relegated – not tormented, but excluded from the presence of God. Piers Anthony's Incarnations of Immortality sequence addresses the injustice (to modern eyes) of this situation, and makes Limbo-cum-Purgatory the HQ of a computerized celestial bureaucracy. Various Posthumous-Fantasy movies depict Limbo as a metaphorical waiting-room where souls await assignation to Heaven or Hell – or, implausibly often, return to Earth (> Afterlife). [DRL]

This entry is taken from the Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997) edited by John Clute and John Grant. It is provided as a reference and resource for users of the SF Encyclopedia, but apart from possible small corrections has not been updated.