The Art of Dying: Living Fully into the Life to Come

Overview

Death will come to us all, but most of us live our lives as if death does not exist. People are living longer than ever, and death is partitioned off to hospital rooms, separated from our daily lives. Most of us find ourselves at a loss when death approaches. We don't know how to die well.

Rob Moll recovers the deeply Christian practice of dying well. For centuries Christians have prepared for the "good death" with particular rituals and spiritual disciplines that have directed ...

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Overview

Death will come to us all, but most of us live our lives as if death does not exist. People are living longer than ever, and death is partitioned off to hospital rooms, separated from our daily lives. Most of us find ourselves at a loss when death approaches. We don't know how to die well.

Rob Moll recovers the deeply Christian practice of dying well. For centuries Christians have prepared for the "good death" with particular rituals and spiritual disciplines that have directed the actions of both the living and the dying. In this well-researched and pastorally sensitive book, Moll provides insight into death and dying issues with in-person reporting and interviews with hospice workers, doctors, nurses, bioethicists, family members and spiritual caregivers. He gives guidance for those who care for the dying as well as for those who grieve.

This book is a gentle companion for all who face death, whether one's own or that of a loved one. Christians can have confidence that because death is not the end, preparing to die helps us truly live.

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Editorial Reviews

Dennis M. Sullivan
"It has often been said that medicine is both science and art. So much of a physician's training, however, is devoted to the science part, leaving precious little time for the art. As both a bioethicist and a physician, I fall prey to the same imbalance, teaching the technical and philosophical approaches to end-of-life ethics, but never teaching my patients or my students how to die. Rob Moll's book wonderfully accomplishes this task, with clarity, compassion and hope. This volume should be on the shelf of every pastor, nursing-home volunteer, layleader, and anyone caring for a dying friend or relative. It is all about living with eternity in mind."
Paige Comstock Cunningham
"The Art of Dying takes the fear out of dying and replaces it with rich models of dying well. Drawn from a broad spectrum of historical, theological, bioethical, social and practical resources, interlaced with captivating narrative, The Art of Dying paints a vision of what dying and grieving with the Christian community has looked like--and once again should look like. While it is particularly relevant for every Christian who will die, other mortals will benefit from reading over our shoulders."
from the foreword by Lauren Winner
"We, the church, need to recover the art of dying. . . .
I hope that people will read this book--and talk about it, and take inspiration from it. I hope we will let Rob Moll's insights help us become communities where people can reckon with, rather than dodge, death."
J. I. Packer
"Dying has for many today, like sex in the nineteenth century, become the great unmentionable. But this brave, realistic, well-researched and well-digested book restores the 'good death,' as the climax of faithful discipleship, to the Christian radar screen. On going home to God, and helping others on the same journey, what is said here is excellent from every point of view."
Marva J. Dawn
"This book is urgently needed by many churches and individuals who don't help their members or loved ones to die well. Rob Moll reminds Christians not to be afraid of their own deaths. His numerous ideas also teach us how to accompany other people to their deaths. I pray this book will enable many congregations to develop new practices and programs for the elderly and their caretakers."
David Neff
"Every seminarian and parish minister should read this book. Rob Moll recovers the Christian tradition's lost teaching on preparing for death. He then offers theologically sound guidance for families and clergy as they serve the dying and then honor their legacy. Indispensable."
Paige Comstock Cunningham
"The Art of Dying takes the fear out of dying and replaces it with rich models of dying well. Drawn from a broad spectrum of historical, theological, bioethical, social and practical resources, interlaced with captivating narrative, The Art of Dying paints a vision of what dying and grieving with the Christian community has looked like--and once again should look like.While it is particularly relevant for every Christian who will die, other mortals will benefit from reading over our shoulders."
Lauren Winner
"We, the church, need to recover the art of dying.. . . I hope that people will read this book—and talk about it, and take inspiration from it.I hope we will let Rob Moll's insights help us become communities where people can reckon with, rather than dodge, death."
Marva J. Dawn
"This book is urgently needed by many churches and individuals who don't help their members or loved ones to die well. Rob Moll reminds Christians not to be afraid of their own deaths.His numerous ideas also teach us how to accompany other people to their deaths. I pray this book will enable many congregations to develop new practices and programs for the elderly and their caretakers."
from the foreword by Lauren Winner
"We, the church, need to recover the art of dying.. . .
I hope that people will read this book--and talk about it, and take inspiration from it.I hope we will let Rob Moll's insights help us become communities where people can reckon with, rather than dodge, death."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780830837366
  • Publisher: InterVarsity Press
  • Publication date: 5/4/2010
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 685,318
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Rob Moll is an award-winning journalist and editor-at-large with Christianity Today. He has written extensively on health and health-care issues, investing and personal finance, religion and rural America. His work has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Profitable Investing, Books & Culture and Leadership. He has also served as a hospice volunteer. Moll serves World Vision as communications officer to the president and lives in the Seattle area.
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Table of Contents

Foreword Lauren Winner 9

1 When Death Arrives 13

2 Gradual Dying and End-of-Life Care 27

3 Losing the Christian Death 39

4 The Individual, the Church and Ars Moriendi 51

5 The Spirituality of Dying 69

6 The Hardest Conversation You'll Ever Have 85

7 Caring for the Dying 95

8 The Christian Funeral 117

9 Grief and Mourning 127

10 A Culture of Resurrection 143

11 Living in Light of Death 171

Study Guide 180

Acknowledgments 185

Notes 188

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