Death as Frenemy?

A New Article in Open Theology

7/11/20221 min read

I've been working on an article for a while that aims to get at what I believe is an underdeveloped Christian vision of death. Recently (after many revisions), it came out in the newest issue of Open Theology. Best of all, because the journal is open access, you can read it here for free.

Though Hart doesn't make it into the paper much, the article started to grow out of my thinking through David Bentley Hart's work on theodicy. Both in That All Shall Be Saved and The Doors of the Sea Hart pushes back hard against the tendency we might have to instrumentalize evil, seeing it as a means to achieving the good. I actually agree with Hart, and think this is a dangerous thing to do in general. But, I think death is instrumentalized by God in the death of his Son to be the means by which we understand the goodness of God.

So I agree with Hart in general. But in the one particular case of the Incarnate One, death - that he bears fully and finally - becomes the means to good. My man St. Ambrose of Milan is the one to get us on track here. I position him, and his view, alongside of the more mainstream Western tradition that comes through Augustine and Thomas Aquinas.

You can have a read of the full article if you are so inclined.