The desire to live an abundant life and to have a good death remains a very contemporary aspiration for all of us in the twenty-first century. This resource addresses that desire as well as the complexities around such pressing issues as martyrdom, abortion, suicide, and capital punishment. The discussion includes references to official church statements as well as to current authors.
The themes of life and death pulse throughout the Bible in the lives of individuals and communities. The Creator has empowered humankind to work out their lives and grapple with their deaths, setting before them precepts to follow and people to imitate, preeminently Jesus, risen from the dead. Although the biblical authors do not specifically address such matters as abortion, they do offer perspectives that are relevant to the discussion. Besides this, the Scriptures offer a rich treasury of texts and stories that not only inform but also inspire those who are longing for trustworthy guidance, greater wholeness, and deeper peace in life, as they approach that unknown moment of death that comes for each of us.
John Gillman received his Ph.D. in Religious Studies (New Testament) from the Catholic University of Louvain (KUL) in Belgium. He has published widely and lectured nationally and internationally. He is a lecturer at San Diego State University and more recently at the Franciscan School of Theology. For many years he has served as a Certified Pastoral Educator (CPE) and a chaplain at major medical centers, a national hospice provider, and an urban ministry program.