Religion and Death

Henry, Martin (2001) Religion and Death. Irish Theological Quarterly, 66 (4). p. 390.

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Such a keen and incorruptible observer of the religious scene as Gore Vidal, in his famous ‘historical novel’, Julian, has the fourth-century pagan rhetorician, Libanius of Antioch, say about the Christians: ‘What most disturbs me is their curious hopelessness about this life, and the undue emphasis they put on the next. Of course eternity is larger than the brief span of man’s life, but to live entirely within the idea of eternity is limiting to the spirit and makes man wretched in his day-to-day existence, since his eye must always be fixed not on this lovely world but on that dark door through which he must one day pass.’1 Libanius’ views reflect an enduring perception of Christianity as other-worldly and consequently life-denying, in short, as being more concerned with death than with life.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Religion and Death
Academic Unit: St Patrick's College, Maynooth > Faculty of Theology
Item ID: 633
Depositing User: Martin Henry
Date Deposited: 20 Sep 2007
Journal or Publication Title: Irish Theological Quarterly
Publisher: Pontifical University Maynooth
Refereed: Yes

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