The Puritan Smile: A Look toward Moral Reflection

By Robert Cummings Neville; Naomi Neville | Go to book overview

11
A Taste of Death

For the classical Puritans, death, though an obsession, was not an ultimately important topic. Believing as most of them did in a kind of immortality, the Puritans took death to be a door to a further life in which the moral quality of one's life here is to be manifested in a pure way. For the Calvinistic Puritans, life after death was not so much a reward or punishment for this life, since both were predestined, but rather a manifestation of its true nature. I do not think any of the Puritan beliefs on these matters are defensible. We do not share their confidence in a controlling God; our plausible cosmologies do not include immortality in any literal sense; the Puritan emphasis on responsibility, which I have defended at length, is not compatible with their predestinarian theology; and because of these points, death as such is much more important than they thought.

The twentieth century has forced the topic of death once again into the center of consciousness. Two historical conditions conspired to make this so. First was the crisis in meaningfulness focused by Modernism and given explicit philosophic form in Existentialism. Heidegger's point in his early work was that human meaning and reality consist at bottom in a fundamental care or compassion that arises from living toward one's own death. Those thinkers, then, who find life ultimately meaningless do so because it is meaningless to them to face death. The other condition was the invention of what

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Puritan Smile: A Look toward Moral Reflection
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 248

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.