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. Matthew Levering mines the best of classical thought with selections that offer both ancient and contemporary Christians as models for understanding. He includes writings from Ignatius of Antioch, the Venerable Bede, Thomas Aquinas, Catherine of Siena, Thomas More, John Henry Newman, and Dorothy Day 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?
Matthew Levering has gathered some of the most insightful and beautiful texts in the Christian tradition concerning the art of dying in conformity to Christ. We attend to the engrossing accounts of the early martyrs, the lyrical, reflective texts of the church fathers, and the psychologically penetrating meditations of modern believers, and we learn from the saints how to die. This spiritually provocative book will prove beneficial, not only to scholars of Christianity, but also to pastors, catechists, and all those who minister to the dying. -- Rev. Robert Barron, associate professor of systematic theology, University of Saint Mary of the Lake and Sheed & Ward author of Bridging the Gre
On Christian Dying has no single target audience, but may be useful for pastoral ministers, scholars, and those willing to contemplate the inevitable reality of death. -- Daniel J. Daly * The National Catholic Bioethics Center *
Contemporary western cultures are marked by evasions and denials of the reality of death. Even within the churches, we attend more to funerals than to caring for people at the end of life. As a result, we have also lost a sense of dying as an art that is integrally connected to how we live and care for one another. This marvelous collection of Christian wisdom prophetically challenges us to confront what we would rather avoid, thereby stirring us to deeper and richer attention to what we really need: to recapture the life-giving art of dying. -- L. Gregory Jones, Dean of the Divinity School and Professor of Theology, Duke University