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Number of Pages: 242
Vendor: Westminster John Knox Press
|Publication Date: 2013|
The Good Funeral: Death, Grief, and the Community of CareThomas G. Long, Thomas LynchWestminster John Knox Press / 2013 / Hardcover$19.99 Retail:
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Thomas G. Long, one of America's most trusted and thoughtful pulpit voices, provides a much needed theological and cultural critique of today's Christian funeral. Long begins by describing how the Christian funeral developed historically, theologically, and liturgically and then discusses recent cultural trends in funeral practices, including the rise in number of cremations and memorial services. He describes the basic pattern for a funeral service, details options in funeral planning, identifies characteristics of a "good funeral," and provides thoughtful guidance for preaching at a funeral.
But Long also notes a disturbing trend toward funeral services that seem theologically right and pastorally caring but actually depart from the primary aims of the Christian funeral. Long argues that the proper Christian funeral should be constructed around the metaphor of the deceased as a saint traveling on a baptismal journey toward God, accompanied by the community of faith on "the last mile of the way." He cautions that the cultural conditions for maintaining this view are under stress and a new, less theological and less satisfying metaphor that focuses on the mourner has begun to erode the Christian view. He contrasts the ancient grand community drama with today's trend toward body-less memorial services that focus primarily on the living and grief management, arguing that this is a loss for the church and calling for the church to reclaim the classic metaphor.
Thomas G. Long is Bandy Professor of Preaching at Candler School of Theology, Emory University, and one of the most popular preachers in the United States today. The author of many books, he is the coauthor with Thomas Lynch of The Good Funeral: Death, Grief, and the Community of Care.
Mary thompson5 Stars Out Of 5January 10, 2010Mary thompsonThis is the best book I've read on dying. My husband is doing that right now and the book has come to me at the right time. It is academic and takes concentration and thought but it is well worth it not just for dying or funerals but for getting our theology straight. Refreshing way to see the facts.