By David Albert Jones
David Albert Jones considers simple questions: how will we reside good within the face of dying? and while, if ever, is it valid intentionally to carry human existence to an finish? He focuses upon the specific theological methods to demise proven through 4 striking Christian thinkers: Ambrose of Milan, Augustine of Hippo, Thomas Aquinas, and Karl Rahner. Jones's objective isn't really essentially to make contributions to the background of theology, yet really, via engagement with the concept of theologians of the previous, to mirror on many of the useful and existential concerns that the procedure of dying offers for we all.
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Extra info for Approaching the End: A Theological Exploration of Death and Dying (Oxford Studies in Theological Ethics)
9 Thus the Christian attitude to death seems at once more positive and more negative than ancient pagan or modern secular attitudes. This is why the distinction between martyrdom and suicide is key. If Christians are to grasp the paradox that is the basis for this distinction, and are to live well in the face of death, then they require a clear and explicit theological articulation of the meaning of human death. This is especially so in a modern context where both the hope of the Gospel and the wisdom of the commandments are commonly disputed.
It seems that life is to be regarded as a good thing. In the Scriptures life is thought of as the reward for the good, death as the punishment for the wicked (in the book of Deuteronomy, for example). However, if life is a good, death would seem to be an evil. Before answering this point, Ambrose Wnds it necessary to distinguish diVerent kinds of death, and so, straightaway, introduces his doctrine of three deaths: ‘death due to sin’; ‘mystical death’ (in baptism); and ‘the death by 9 FR 123. In the last section on the work (FR 123–35) Ambrose returns from considering the resurrection to his original theme of the goodness or badness of death now in the light of the truth of the resurrection.
42 Not Good for Anyone: Augustine of Hippo natural decay. Yet the soul also lives by a life it receives from God, and with respect to this life it could truly be said to die. It was an oftrepeated saying of Augustine that, ‘the soul is the life of the body; God is the life of the soul’ (Sermon 65; CD XIII. 2, 7, 12 and elsewhere). The soul, therefore, is only immortal ‘according to a certain manner of its own’ (Sermon 65). Only God is absolutely immortal and unchangeable, being in complete possession of his own life.