Facing Death: Theme and Variations

Facing Death: Theme and Variations

by David F. Martin
     
 

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If we do not, at some point in our life, face death—thinking hard and straight about it— we turn away from our authenticity. If that facing rejects irrational faith, dogmas, mystification, and personal immortality, is there yet a path free of despair? David Martin argues that participatory pantheism—the experience of the secular and the sacred both

Overview

If we do not, at some point in our life, face death—thinking hard and straight about it— we turn away from our authenticity. If that facing rejects irrational faith, dogmas, mystification, and personal immortality, is there yet a path free of despair? David Martin argues that participatory pantheism—the experience of the secular and the sacred both as a unity and as a mystery—provides such a path. As we age, the future shortens and the past lengthens. But if we face death, more and more memories—especially the involuntary—are stirred up and cohere into stronger, as well as new, unities. What paradise there is for th elderly is not so much in what is happening but in remembering what happened in a meaningful way. For Dr. Martin, transformation of memory into the memorable is the transcendent meaning each of us can wrest from our coming to death. Since nature is our home, Dr. Martin reasons, the more we think participatively (thinking from ) rather than only objectively (thinking at), the more we are aware of the mystery and the majesty of that home. The more we know about our world and ourselves, the more we can understand how much we don't know. This kind of thinking is a thanking. It brings us within the sacred. We are anchored, and the churning of change no longer sweeps us away.

Editorial Reviews

Joseph Margolis
David Martin has written a brave and honest book reflecting on death and the end of life. Its special charm lies in its candor, lack of theatricality, and the sense of genuine search. You will ask yourself as you read: how much would I be willing to share with thos who know me or knew me in the reading world? You will also learn more than a little about how to think of Martin's topics by yourself.
Julian Hart
David Martin's Facing Death: Theme and Variations is a richly informative venture all the way. It is a sterling illustration of explicatory philosophical argument designed to display the fertility of a point of view rather than abstract logical rigor. Martin knows his Spinoza. He is much at home with Nietzsche's emphasis on the aesthetic dimension.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781611482515
Publisher:
Bucknell University Press
Publication date:
02/01/2006
Pages:
152
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.30(h) x 0.70(d)

Meet the Author

F. David Martin taught at Bucknell University until his retirement in 1983.

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