As I Lay Dying: Meditations Upon Returning

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9780465049318: As I Lay Dying: Meditations Upon Returning
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"A profoundly serious rumination on the meaning of life and especially on the meaning of death. Father Neuhaus's book prompts us to think seriously about our own inevitable death, as well as the way we are leading our current lives." --Wall Street Journal.

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Every night as we lay down to sleep we practice a form of death, according to Richard Neuhaus in As I Lay Dying. The rhythm of life and death is indeed as natural as the rhythm of waking and sleeping. But few of us know it as literally as does Neuhaus, who found himself drifting in and out of consciousness after a tumor ruptured his intestines and the subsequent botched surgery caused internal hemorrhaging. One night he was visited by two beings, which he calls angels, who assured him that "Everything is ready now." Dramatic as all this sounds, As I Lay Dying is not so much Neuhaus's near-death-experience tale as it is a Christian discussion of death from the vantage point of a Catholic priest who heard death knocking at his door.

This is not a feel-good book about the white light and smiling family members at the end of the tunnel. Relying on Scripture, Catholic doctrine, and the words of poets and famous writers, Neuhaus ponders questions such as: Can the soul live on, separate from the body? Is it possible to have death with dignity? How is it that we can be propelled into a tailspin of grief over one death, but be indifferent to the ethnic slaughter of millions in central Africa? Is there really life after death? Christians who are close to death, whether it be their own or that of a loved one, may find this a useful companion, if only for Neuhaus's willingness to shed light on our darkest fears while being brave enough to not know all the answers. --Gail Hudson

About the Author:

Richard John Neuhaus is acclaimed as one of the foremost authorities on religion in the contemporary world and is President of the Institute on Religion and Public Life. He is the editor-in-chief of the Institute's monthly publication First Things. He is the author of many books, including Freedom for Ministry, The Naked Public Square, The Catholic Movement, Believing Today, Death on a Friday Afternoon, and As I Lay Dying. A priest of the Archdiocese of New York, he lives in Manhattan.

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