Ultimate Journey: Death and Dying in the World's Major Religions

Overview

Like taxes, death is inevitable. Everyone experiences it sooner or later. This book offers perspectives on death and dying from all major religions, written by experts in each of those religions. Focusing on the major world traditions, it offers important information about what death and dying means to those practicing these faiths. The second part of the book adds a necessary and truly unique perspective - a personal look at how people actually die in the various world religions, as told by a hospital chaplain, ...

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Overview

Like taxes, death is inevitable. Everyone experiences it sooner or later. This book offers perspectives on death and dying from all major religions, written by experts in each of those religions. Focusing on the major world traditions, it offers important information about what death and dying means to those practicing these faiths. The second part of the book adds a necessary and truly unique perspective - a personal look at how people actually die in the various world religions, as told by a hospital chaplain, with anecdotes and experiences that bring the death process to life, so to speak.

Each chapter engages the theology of each religion, giving quotes from the literature of their respective scriptural traditions, to explain the process of dying, death, and the afterlife. In doing so, each author draws on the history of his respective tradition and looks at real-life figures, exemplars of the tradition, showing how practitioners view death and hope to one day engage the death process themselves.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Readers who will benefit most are religious scholars and professionals, especially persons working in hospice settings and those seeking to offer support in dying to persons of diverse faith and cultures. Summing Up: Recommended."

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Choice

"Highly recommended for public and academic libraries and as a resource for the comparative study of religions."

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MultiCultural Review

Library Journal

Rosen (editor in chief, Journal of Vaishnava Studies) has compiled six distinct essays, including a conclusion, on death, dying, and mortality from the vantages of the "world's major religions"-Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism. The essays are broad, descriptive, and purposeful in their approach to the idea of death but by no means comprehensive or definitive. As a result, the book is best read as a tableau of insights by religious thinkers or as an ancillary text to one's deeper interest in the topic from these perspectives. The five main essays are problematic in that they appear to represent each "world religion" as a whole but do so from clearly factional, denominational, or systematic approaches. For instance, the essay on Judaism focuses on the mystical literature of the Zohar rather than other, more traditional Jewish textual sources, and the essay "Christian Teachings on Death and Dying" is decidedly more Catholic than pan-Christian. Rosen has done a commendable job in assembling these essays, but their slant makes them appropriate for public libraries only.
—Anthony J. Elia

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780313356087
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 10/30/2008
  • Pages: 208
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

STEVEN J. ROSEN is Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Vaishnava Studies and Associate Editor of Back to Godhead, the magazine of the Hare Krishna movement. His recent books include Holy Cow: The Hare Krishna Contribution to Vegetarianism and Animal Rights, Essential Hinduism (Greenwood, 2006), and Krishna's Song: A New look at the Bhagavad Gita (Praeger, 2007).

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Table of Contents

Introduction Steven J. Rosen Rosen, Steven J.

1 Judaism: The Journey of the Soul Rabbi Arthur Seltzer Seltzer, Rabbi Arthur 1

2 Preparation for Eternal Life: Christian Teachings on Death and Dying Francis V. Tiso Tiso, Francis V. 21

3 Death and Dying in Islam Hussam S. Timani Timani, Hussam S. 59

4 Awakening to Mortality: Buddhist Views of Death and Dying John M. Thompson Thompson, John M. 83

5 Hindu Models of Enlightened Death Peter Medley Medley, Peter 115

Conclusion: A Shepherd in the Trenches - One Chaplain's Work with the Dying David Carter Carter, David 155

Index 187

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