Denial

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From Douglas John Hall’s The Cross in Our Context: Jesus and the Suffering World: “Our society, perhaps more than any other in history, is engaged in a massive denial of death. (And remember that for the biblical faith death does not just refer to the termination of life, a biological death, but stands symbolically for a whole Pandora’s box of fears and negations that become particularly virulent when they are repressed or denied.) This was the point of one of the most insightful books written in our era, Ernest Becker’s The Denial of Death. The more fixated the human spirit is upon its mortality, it vulnerability, its nothingness or apparent insignificance, the less capable it is of participating freely and joyfully in the life that it has been given….Individuals whose sense of well-being depends upon a rigorous silencing of every thought of their own mortality are very difficult and sometimes dangerous people to be around. But what of a whole society whose well-being – whose way of life – depends upon the constant reassurance that the happiness it seeks is in no way threatened by the limitations that creaturely life places on us? …When an entire culture is held in the grip of a worldview in which death is allowed no voice, death’s power over life is immensely increased. Such a society is greatly in need of liberation…”

Roger

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