The Eternal Pity: Reflections on Dying (Ethics of Everyday Life) (Paperback)

The Eternal Pity: Reflections on Dying (Ethics of Everyday Life) By Richard John Neuhaus (Editor) Cover Image
By Richard John Neuhaus (Editor)
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Drawing upon a vast range of human experience and reflection, The Eternal Pity: Reflections on Dying demonstrates how people try to cope with the inevitability of death. Different cultures, informed by religious beliefs and sometimes desperate hope, teach people to respond to their own death and the deaths of others in modes as various as defiance, stoic resignation, and unbridled grief. In addition to examples from literature, poetry, and religious texts, Father Richard John Neuhaus provides an intensely personal account of his encounter with death through emergency cancer surgery and reflects on how that encounter has changed the way he lives. While many writers have deplored the "denial of death" in our culture, The Eternal Pity shows how themes of death and dying are nevertheless perennial and pervasive. Society may be viewed as a disorganized march of multitudes waving little banners of meaning before the threat of nonbeing that is death. Some selections in this book depict people utterly surprised by their mortality; others highlight how the whole of one's life can be a preparation for what used to be called "a good death." For some, life is a relentless effort to hold death at bay; for others, death is, although not welcomed, reflectively anticipated. Nothing so universally defines the human condition as the fact that we shall die. The Eternal Pity helps us to understand how the prospect of death compels decisions about how we might live.

About the Author

Father Richard John Neuhaus is President of the Institute on Religion and Public Life in New York, editor-in-chief of First Things: A Monthly Journal of Religion and Public Life, and author of, among other books, Death on a Friday Afternoon: Meditations on the Last Words of Jesus From the Cross and The Naked Public Square: Religion and Democracy in America.
Product Details
ISBN: 9780268027575
ISBN-10: 0268027579
Publisher: University of Notre Dame Press
Publication Date: April 30th, 2000
Pages: 196
Language: English
Series: Ethics of Everyday Life