(Living Church) Philip Turner—Undeniable Death

Posted by Kendall Harmon

It’s been almost 40 years since Dr. Ernest Becker published his Pulitzer Prize-winning study, The Denial of Death. Unlike Becker, three recent books do not attribute the denial of death to more or less universal psychological mechanisms. They lay death’s denial at the feet of sociological and technological developments characteristic of the modern world. Nevertheless, they agree with Becker on one basic point: American society lives in denial that we all die. Further, all three agree that churches have colluded with — perhaps have even been captured by — this pervasive habit of avoidance. All three authors have had scrapes with death, which drove them from denial. In response, each has issued a call to churches to reclaim their ministry to the dying....

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Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* Culture-WatchBooks* TheologyEschatology

Posted July 13, 2013 at 12:32 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

1. New Reformation Advocate wrote:

Thank you, Kendall, for posting this, and thanks above all to Dr. Turner for this outstanding book review.  It is typically astute, cogently written, and edifying.  Vintage Philip Turner stuff.

More importantly, he’s, “dead on” target.  The Church must reclaim our ministry to the dying, and we must relearn how to cultivate those classic Christian virtues that allow us to die well, taking Jesus as our model in this, as in all else.  We can no longer “outsource” the care for the dying to the medical establishment with its “licensed torture” of the dying through endless medical procedures that futilely attempt to stave off the inevitable as long as possible, at exoritant cost.  For those of us who are Anglicans, perhaps we need to revisit that old classic book by +Jeremy Taylor, Holy Dying.

David Handy+

July 15, 11:18 am | [comment link]
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