Making Faithful Decisions at the End of Life
Making Faithful Decisions at the End of Life  -     By: Nancy J. Duff
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Westminster John Knox Press / 2018 / Paperback

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Making Faithful Decisions at the End of Life

Westminster John Knox Press / 2018 / Paperback

In Stock
Stock No: WW263193

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 128
Vendor: Westminster John Knox Press
Publication Date: 2018
Dimensions: 8.50 X 5.50 (inches)
ISBN: 0664263194
ISBN-13: 9780664263195

Publisher's Description

By exploring the ethics of resisting and accepting death from a Christian perspective, Nancy Duff encourages Christians to talk about death in the context of Christian faith. Making Faithful Decisions at the End of Life helps readers use biblical and theological perspectives regarding death to inform end-of-life decisions, consider where they stand on withdrawing life support and supporting death with dignity laws, and take steps in planning for their own future.

Author Bio

Nancy J. Duff is the Stephen Colwell Associate Professor of Christian Ethics at Princeton Theological Seminary.

Editorial Reviews

"An erudite and impressively informative read, Making Faithful Decisions at the End of Life is an especially recommended addition to church, seminary, and community library collections." —Midwest Book Review 

"In just 134 pages, [Making Faithful Decisions at the End of Life] covers almost every imaginable subject related to preparing for the end of life. It is clear, well organized and, in terms of Christian theology, spiritually solid. If I were a Christian pastor, I would make sure that every family in my congregation had this book—and read it." —Bill Tammeus, Faith Matters 

"This is a wise and extraordinarily thoughtful work on how Christians can address end-of-life issues, from confronting a loved one’s terminal diagnosis, to preparing a funeral, to dealing with grief in the aftermath. Even when explaining complex medical, ethical, and legal matters, the book  is concrete and accessible. Nancy Duff has written an invaluable guidebook for helping us approach these difficult topics faithfully and compassionately, within our own families, in ministry, with friends and colleagues—and as we face our own mortality."
—Victoria Barnett, general editor, Dietrich Bonhoeffer works


"I’ve been waiting for this book since I started using some of Nancy Duff’s articles on death and dying from a Reformed theological perspective in courses I taught in the 1990s. I know I’m not alone. Many of us who teach medical ethics from theological perspectives have been waiting for a book that brought together the wisdom of those who negotiate experiences of death and dying with that of those who can provide subtle theological reflection on those experiences. Speaking on behalf of all of us who have been waiting, I am glad the book is here and grateful to Nancy for offering it to us." 
—Mark Douglas, Professor of Christian Ethics, Columbia Theological Seminary


"This book is a must-read for individuals and congregations that want guidance in making faithful decisions around the end of life. Dr. Duff writes with clarity, conviction, and compassion. In surveying the recent history of the role of physicians in caring for the dying and the decisions of the courts regarding the end of life, she holds in balance the commitment to preserve life and the right to live a meaningful life in the face of death.  Her presentation of Christian views of life and death is succinct and faithful to the witness of Scripture and Christian theology. She provides practical wisdom about advance directives, conversations with physicians, funeral practices, and grieving. Dr. Duff has the gift of expressing her own convictions about making moral decision in the face of death while respecting those who may hold different beliefs."  
—Lewis F. Galloway, Senior Pastor, Second Presbyterian Church, Indianapolis, Indiana


"It is important for Christians to have the language of their faith to speak about death and dying, including thorny issues of end-of-life support, living wills, death with dignity laws and more. Pastors who want to help their congregations should have this book on hand." —<>em>Presbyterian Outlook

"What is remarkable about this book is the range of end-of-life issues that Nancy Duff addresses with lucidity and wisdom. From crucial theological affirmations about life and death, to the debates over death with dignity and physician-assisted death, to the pastoral and ethical practicalities of advance directives, funerals, and grief, Nancy Duff does not shy away from the hard questions and the urgent realities. I cannot imagine a book more fitting, informative, and helpful for the seminary classroom, the adult study group, the pastor’s desk, and anywhere else people of faith seek clarity about choices and convictions at life’s outer edge."
—Thomas G. Long, Bandy Professor Emeritus of Preaching, Candler School of Theology, Emory University


"Professor Duff’s book is a rare example of mastery of Christian medical ethics combined with a nuanced understanding of the intricacies of clinical end-of-life complexities. It’s a strong recommendation for ethicists in training as well as seasoned professionals."
—Gabriel Smolarz, MD MSB, Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, New Brunswick, New Jersey 


"Dr. Duff challenges believers to consider faithful dying as a continuation of faithful living.  With gentle admonition, compassion for the experience of suffering, realistic expectations that are adaptable to individuality, she pushes us all to reflect theologically on a topic most of us would prefer to avoid: our own deaths. Dr. Duff’s gift is her ability to connect the broad sweeps of Christian doctrine to the personal and practical decisions we will all have to make at the end of life.  Using a theo-ethical foundation, case studies, insights from her personal experiences, and research in the latest technological/medical advances, Dr. Duff offers the believer concrete options for holding all of life sacred, even as life slips away."
—Leanne Simmons, pastor, First Presbyterian Church, Bismarck, North Dakota


"Karl Barth said to a gathering of ministers in 1922, ’It is evident that [people] do not need us to help them live, but seem rather to need us to help them die; for their whole life is lived in the shadow of death.’ Every page of Making Faithful Decisions at the End of Life offers ministers the practical and ethically sound help we need as we help our congregants walk through the valley of the shadow of death with honesty, theological understanding, and a great trust that ’in life and in death we belong to God.’ Duff wrote this with the church in mind, and I commend it not only to ministers but also to adult education committees, book groups, and caregivers."
—Cynthia A. Jarvis, minister, The Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


"Making Faithful Decisions at the End of Life will help clergy, chaplains, families, and congregations navigate the moral and practical complexities involved in terminal illness and death. Readers will garner a wealth of information for further discussion and discernment, including reflections on groundbreaking legal cases, the Georgetown principles, ’death with dignity,’ advanced directives, and funeral practices. Throughout this work, Duff develops a Christian contextual ethic based on the tension between resisting and accepting death, and she helps readers to enter into theological reflection on the process of dying well and grieving the dead."
—Sonia Waters, Assistant Professor of Pastoral Theology, Princeton Theological Seminary

"Nancy Duff tenders a useful primer on last things and end-of-life concerns, a good text for a necessary conversation."  
—Thomas Lynch, author of The Undertaking


"Professor Duff reviews a wide variety of personal, professional, religious, and social responses to death. She helps readers who wish to live and to die faithfully consider how to hold in tension the call to defend life and the call to seek purpose and meaning in dying. Applications to the professions of medicine and ministry are abundant."
—Brandt McCabe, internist and cardiologist, Princeton, New Jersey


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