Death & Dying

Dying ‘the Buddhist way’ gains in hospice centers in the West

By Ken Chitwood — November 12, 2020

(RNS) — The emergence of Buddhist-oriented hospices in the U.S. and elsewhere is said to show a dissatisfaction with conventional Western views of life and death.

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A 24-hour online vigil will name some of the people who have died of COVID-19

By Yonat Shimron — May 19, 2020

(RNS) — The effort seeks to humanize and honor the people who have died. It’s part of a marathon reading of names with songs and prayers interspersed.

Greg Zanis, who honored shooting victims by building 26,000 crosses, dies

By Yonat Shimron — May 6, 2020

(RNS) — The 69-year-old retired carpenter from Aurora, Illinois, crisscrossed the country to erect his wooden memorials near the sites of massacres, big and small.

J. Dana Trent is on a mission to discuss death with the post-Millennial generation

By Yonat Shimron — February 3, 2020

RALEIGH, N.C. (RNS) — Her fascination with death is part of a growing movement whose adherents believe in wresting control of death from the funeral industry and breaking the silence around death through frank discussions.

‘Sheltering wings:’ Charleston memorial plan conveys solace

By Jonathan Drew — July 16, 2018

(AP) — Designs for a memorial to nine black worshippers slain at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, began not at a drafting table, but with discussions with grieving family members about how best to honor those lost in the racist attack. The result will be less of a solemn monument and more of a heavenly embrace to those visiting the historic Charleston church.

Why religions of the world condemn suicide

By Mathew Schmalz — June 12, 2018

(The Conversation) — The ethics of self-inflicted death have historically been an important area of reflection for the world’s religions.

What is hell?

By Joanne Pierce — April 18, 2018

(The Conversation) — The Christian belief in hell has developed over the centuries, influenced by both Jewish and Greek ideas of the afterlife.

From hell to atonement, musician Audrey Assad has been quietly evolving

By Jonathan Merritt — April 5, 2018

(RNS) — ‘I suppose if there is anything I could say I reject, it is the idea that God’s love and acceptance is dependent on our right belief. I no longer see how that could be possible,’ said Audrey Assad.

What living with a death sentence can teach all of us about life

By Jonathan Merritt — February 6, 2018

(RNS) — ‘If someone found cancer to be a gift, wonderful. But there is a certain cruelty to asking suffering people to bear the weight of other people’s theological conundrums,’ Christian historian Kate Bowler tells RNS’ Jonathan Merritt. (Commentary)

A funeral director says many churches (unknowingly) promote a ‘death negative’ narrative

By Jonathan Merritt — November 10, 2017

Caleb Wilde says many churches teach that “death, and our mortality, is at heart both shameful and has little to no redeeming value.”

The gospel for gun-loving Christians

By Jonathan Merritt — October 3, 2017

How exactly can someone do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly while carrying a deadly assault rifle? asks David Gringor in a commentary.

Eugene Peterson on why he’s leaving public life and whether he fears death

By Jonathan Merritt — July 10, 2017

The 84-year-old best-selling author says he has penned his last book. Here’s why he’s hanging it up.

Americans want assisted suicide

By Mark Silk — December 9, 2016

(RNS) Why should we stand in their way?

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