Writing with the conviction that death is so powerful an event that it demands interpretation, Anderson analyzes contemporary concerns about death from the perspectives of major theologians and world religions. He then develops a Christian theology of death based on historical beliefs about the identity and purpose of Jesus Christ (though some of Anderson's conclusions challenge traditional formulations of soteriology) and concludes that Christ's death and resurrection transform human death from a ``mortal end'' to a passageway ``which extends through death to eternal life with God.'' He also discusses such issues as suicide and euthanasia, sensitively blending theology with pastoral concern. Strongly recommended for academic libraries and informed laypersons. Cynthia Widmer, Williamstown, Mass. Marty, Martin E. Modern American Religion. Vol. 1: The Irony of It All, 1893-1919.