David Albert Jones's Approaching the End: A Theological Exploration of Death and PDF

By David Albert Jones

David Albert Jones considers uncomplicated questions: how do we stay good within the face of demise? and whilst, if ever, is it valid intentionally to carry human existence to an finish? He focuses upon the distinctive theological methods to demise proven through 4 remarkable Christian thinkers: Ambrose of Milan, Augustine of Hippo, Thomas Aquinas, and Karl Rahner. Jones's target isn't really essentially to make contributions to the background of theology, yet particularly, via engagement with the idea of theologians of the prior, to mirror on a few of the sensible and existential concerns that the method of loss of life offers for we all.

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13), why did God unite the soul to a body in the Wrst place? And why will the soul get its body back in the resurrection? Ambrose is clear that he considers the soul to be the person while the body is an instrument used by the person. ‘The one is what we are, the other belongs to us’ (aliud quod sumus, aliud quod nostrum est ; BM 7. 27). This gives him good reason why it is disordered for the soul to subject itself to the passions of the body, but it gives no hint about what the body is actually good for.

This claim is utterly implausible. In the Wrst place the early Christian rejection of infanticide is evident from the Wrst century ce,5 whereas there is little evidence that the practice of infant baptism was widespread until the late fourth century (neither Ambrose of Milan nor Augustine of Hippo was baptized as an infant, even though both had Christian mothers). In the second place, the claim that infants who died before baptism experience the Wres of hell seems to have arisen out of a Wfth-century dispute between Augustine and Pelagius.

15; 9. 38), is conXated with death as ‘the release of the soul from the fetters of the body’ (BM 2. 5; 4. 13; 8. 33). Yet these two concepts of death are quite diVerent and are not wholly congruent. The problem for Ambrose is this: if the body is ‘more of a burden than a beneWt’ to the soul (BM 4. 13), why did God unite the soul to a body in the Wrst place? And why will the soul get its body back in the resurrection? Ambrose is clear that he considers the soul to be the person while the body is an instrument used by the person.

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