All tagged death

Theologising the Fear of Death, Pt 2

There is another obvious explanation for the findings we previously considered, which suggest that people do not really fear death. But this strategy risks being a question-begging one: that is that the fear of death is, in most people for most of the time—and perhaps most of all as death is nigh—sublimated or suppressed in some way.

Theologising the Fear of Death, Pt 1

It is not, these days, sexy to defend the fear of death, except perhaps as a transient stage in a process of grieving, à la Kubler-Ross, which is the last time her name will be mentioned in this paper. Perhaps it never has been sexy. All the same, I would like to try to provide a defence of sorts of the fear of death, not as good per se, but at least natural, rational, appropriate, and useful.

Holbein's Dead Christ, Dostoevsky's Idiot, and Chalcedon's Jesus

Hans Holbein the Younger’s The Body of the Dead Christ in the Tomb (1521—1522) depicts, in unforgiving realism, the mutilated corpse of a crucified man, claustrophobically entombed. There is no indication of who the man is in the painting per se; the identity of the anonymous criminal has be to imposed, from above as it were, in an inscription borne by angels, IESVS NAZARENVS REX IVDAEORVM.

Poetry and Lent: During Wind and Rain (Thomas Hardy)

I first came across this poem many years ago. I’ve never been a devotee of Hardy. As an undergraduate I tackled Tess of the d’Urbervilles; I found it utterly compulsive, emotionally exhausting, but slightly mechanical—at every key moment in the story, Tess has a decision to make, and after a while you get the idea that she’s not going to make the right one.

Death and Dying: Five Books

I can’t seem to get away from death, which is probably a lesson for us all. But I mean something more specific than that. When I started graduate school a decade ago, I decided to write my PhD. on the psychological effects of death anxiety on religiosity. Try as I might to pivot to something else, I am still compelled toward the topic. I’m not sure why, but I can guess. In the course of my work on the topic, I have tried to read as much as I can about death and dying, about the ancient rituals and the modern industries that surround them, about accounts of death both real and imaginary. These are the books I return to the most, from which I have gained the most in different ways. […]