On Christian Dying

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Is there an art of dying well? If human lives have a meaning—and we experience them as profoundly meaningful—then so must our deaths and the deaths of our loved ones. Too often we are tempted to ignore our own mortality and fill our lives with distracting and strenuous activity. Yet, despite all our efforts, death plays an inescapable role in shaping our lives. Whether due to ordinary circumstances, a life-threatening diagnosis, military service, or even religious or ethnic persecution, we are called at times to have the courage to accept the possibility of death. On Christian Dying gathers original texts from the great saints and teachers of the Christian tradition to present 2000 years of theological wisdom on death and dying. Editor Matthew Levering mines the best of classical thought with selections that offer both ancient and contemporary Christians as models for emulation. He includes writings from Ignatius of Antioch, St. Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, Catherine of Siena, Thomas More, John Henry Newman, and St. Therese of Liseux, among others. This volume explores the questions: What is a "good" death? How can we live life to prepare for it? What happens to those who have died? What is "martyrdom"? How should a Christian understand death in light of Christ's cross? How are those who have died related to the living? Distinguished by its historical scope, accessible appeal for classroom and seminary use, and the spiritually profound accounts of Christian death and dying, On Christian Dying will be of value to anyone interested in the ultimate meanings of life or facing their own death or that of a loved one.
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Editorial Reviews

The National Catholic Bioethics Center
On Christian Dying has no single target audience, but may be useful for pastoral ministers, scholars, and those willing to contemplate the inevitable reality of death.
— Daniel J. Daly
Rev. Robert Barron
Matthew Levering has gathered some of the most insightful and beautiful texts in the Christian tradition concerning the art of dying in conformity to Christ. We attend to the engrossing accounts of the early martyrs, the lyrical, reflective texts of the church fathers, and the psychologically penetrating meditations of modern believers, and we learn from the saints how to die. This spiritually provocative book will prove beneficial, not only to scholars of Christianity, but also to pastors, catechists, and all those who minister to the dying.
The National Catholic Bioethics Center - Daniel J. Daly
On Christian Dying has no single target audience, but may be useful for pastoral ministers, scholars, and those willing to contemplate the inevitable reality of death.
L. Gregory Jones
Contemporary western cultures are marked by evasions and denials of the reality of death. Even within the churches, we attend more to funerals than to caring for people at the end of life. As a result, we have also lost a sense of dying as an art that is integrally connected to how we live and care for one another. This marvelous collection of Christian wisdom prophetically challenges us to confront what we would rather avoid, thereby stirring us to deeper and richer attention to what we really need: to recapture the life-giving art of dying.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780742534643
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group Inc
  • Publication date: 2/28/2007
  • Pages: 160
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Matthew Levering is assistant professor of theology at Ave Maria College. He is the author of On the Priesthood: Classic and Contemporary Texts (Rowman & Littlefield, 2003).
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Table of Contents

Part 1 Introduction Chapter 2 St. Ignatius of Antioch Chapter 3 St. Polycarp of Smyrna Chapter 4 The Martyrs of Gaul Chapter 5 St. Anthony Chapter 6 St. Ambrose Chapter 7 St. Augustine Chapter 8 St. Thomas Aquinas Chapter 9 St. Catherine of Siena Chapter 10 St. Catherine of Genoa Chapter 11 St. Thomas More Chapter 12 St. John of the Cross Chapter 13 St. Francis de Sales Chapter 14 St. Joseph Cafasso Chapter 15 Blessed John Henry Newman Chapter 16 St. Therese of Lisieux
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