Just as the imminence of the Second World War overshadowed the first production of J. B. Priestley's ‘modern morality play’, Johnson Over Jordan, in 1939, so did the disaster of 9/11 its only major revival, at the West Yorkshire Playhouse in 2001. Both productions boasted a major actor – respectively Ralph Richardson and Patrick Stewart – in the title role of a play which continued Priestley's search to find a theatrical style for his own metaphysical enquiries into the nature of time and the boundaries of human mortality. In this article, Alan W. Friedman sets the play in the context of western attitudes towards death and the nature of an afterworld, and relates these to Johnson's own journey after his funeral through rewindings of his past life towards some sort of reconciliation with its ending. Alan W. Friedman is Thaman Professor of English in the University of Texas, Austin, and has also taught at universities in England, Ireland, and France. He has published numerous articles and books, the latter including Multivalence: the Moral Quality of Form in the Modern Novel (Louisiana State UP, 1978), William Faulkner (Frederick Ungar, 1984), Fictional Death and the Modernist Enterprise (Cambridge UP, 1995), and (edited with Charles Rossman and Dina Sherzer) Beckett Translating/Translating Beckett (Pennsylvania State UP, 1987).