Ultimate Journey: Death and Dying in the World's Major Religions

Ultimate Journey: Death and Dying in the World's Major Religions

Ultimate Journey: Death and Dying in the World's Major Religions

Ultimate Journey: Death and Dying in the World's Major Religions

Synopsis

Like taxes, death is inevitable. Everyone experiences it sooner or later. This book offers perspectives on death and dying from all major religions, written by experts in each of those religions. Focusing on the major world traditions, this book offers important information about what death and dying means to those practicing these faiths. The second part of this book adds a necessary and truly unique perspective - a personal look at how people actually die in the various world religions, as told by a hospital chaplain, with anecdotes and experiences that bring the death process to life, so to speak.

Excerpt

What can we know of death,
We, who cannot understand life?

Gates of Prayer, Jewish prayer book

We all know that death awaits us. Yet we tend to avoid the subject as if our lives depend on it.

We don’t live as if we know we’re going to die. Instead, we try to camouflage the oncoming train of death with material possessions, reputation, popularity, and the pleasures of the senses. We sometimes conceal this truth consciously, though most of the time it is quite unconscious.

Perhaps we avoid the subject because we think it somewhat morbid. True, there are people who contemplate death to an excessive degree, making it an obsession and letting it get in the way of life.

But it doesn’t have to go there. Rather, a natural curiosity about the nature of life and its inevitable demise can be healthy. After all, death is one of the few certainties we have. And knowing what to expect, what various deep thinkers have had to say about it, and what the great religions of the world tell us is in store for us—all of this can be edifying, preparing us for the unavoidable journey that each of us must take.

It’s not that we have to believe every proclamation that well-meaning thinkers, scriptures, or theologians have made on this subject. But it behooves us to listen with an open mind, for these are resources that claim the secrets of life and death as their main concern; they have deeply . . .

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