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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