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Death and the Rest of Our Life [Paperback]

By John Garvey (Author)
Our Price $ 8.50  
Retail Value $ 10.00  
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Item Number 143747  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   88
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 7.8" Width: 6.26" Height: 0.26"
Weight:   0.22 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jul 31, 2005
Publisher   Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
ISBN  080282918X  
EAN  9780802829184  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
Convinced that our beliefs about death should inform every aspect of our lives until death, Father John Garvey muses on the meaning of death and its aftermath. Garvey suggests that the common view of the soul being released from its "imprisonment" in the body actually offers cold comfort to those bereaved or dying. The Christian affirmation of the resurrected and transformed body, he reminds us, is an essential part of the truth about death's real depths and about what life is finally meant to be. Incorporating stories from the author's own family life and experience as a parish priest, this brief, accessible book will be of particular help to pastors, people recently bereaved, and those who work with the bereaved.

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More About John Garvey

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Culled from archives and private collections, this collection of vintage photographs pays tribute through the years to the woman and men behind the Star. Author and native San Franciscan John Garvey, whose ancestors served on the early force, is a graduate of the SFPD Citizens Police Academy.

John Garvey was born in 1944.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
A Progressive Evangelical Perspective  Mar 27, 2008
Written by a priest in an Orthodox church who seems also to be committed to the idea that we are all part of a larger church and the family of God, he has personal and professional experience with death and dying and relies on the Bible to help understand these experiences. He does a good job of describing different approaches that people take to death, using religion in various ways, some of which are healthy and helpful and some of which are not. This is useful. In particular, in Chapter 3, he addresses the problem of pain and suffering and asks questions about how this is possible if God is a loving God. In the discussion, he integrates Old Testament, New Testament, and Gnostic explanations along with his own personal and professional experiences. He does not provide simple answers or pretend that there are simple answers. In particular, he takes on the Gnostic explanation and the contrast between religious and philosophical approaches to the problem, including a discussion of Buddhism and Christianity in this regard. In Chapter 4, he includes comparisons of Christianity, agnosticism, and atheism with regard to their approaches to the understanding of mortality. He also discusses how formal religion affects society and how our secular society has been affected by religion and other experiences such as the tragedy of September 11, 2001. He concludes in Chapter 5 by discussing the resurrection and how Christ's triumph over death is key to Christian belief. "Christianity turned the ancient idea of life after death on its head. Belief in resurrection was only a slowly dawning sense in Hebrew scripture. The world of I Samuel, with the story of Saul's visit to the medium at Endor to call up the spirit of Samuel is not far from the world of Homer and the ancient Greeks". With the resurrection of Christ, "we are called to expect a life that our understanding cannot yet encompass, a wider life that goes from one depth of glory to another, forever." He basically argues that Christians must take the reality of death seriously as well as the reality of resurrection. "Our faith tells us that we have been baptized into Christ's death and the hope for resurrection.... this is the risen Christ who asked Mary not to cling to him, who showed Thomas wounds received on our side of death, and who made breakfast for his friends at the edge of the sea. And if we find this hard to believe, let us hope that our doubt has something in common with that of the Apostles when they encountered the risen Christ: "While they still disbelieved for joy and wondered, he said to them, 'Have you anything here to eat?'. (Luke 24:41).

This is definitely a book for advanced study and not for seekers. In contrast to Yancey or Lewis, when Garvey makes theological or philosophical references, they are presented in very large chunks, not in terms of the size of the information but in terms of the size of the idea. His own synthesis of this information, integrating it with his personal experience of the death of loved ones and his anesthesia during a surgery turns this into a good example of how an individual believer can come to some degree of resolution, but it is from the perspective of a Christ follower who has a very mature and well read Christian background. It is a short book, (88 pages) that I wish were better footnoted and had Chapters that were thematic rather than just numbered. The book is subtle and moves along in an understated and meditative manner. It is not a reference book or a book of answers. Nevertheless, for a person who is facing death and who is a believer who wants to wrestle with difficult issues and be helped, this is a book that can be recommended. It would be a good book to facilitate personal meditation on death and dying.

As a believer I was stretched and when my time comes I hope I have the opportunity to have this book available to review and discuss with my loved ones and my pastor.
Depressing.  Dec 25, 2007
I lost my Mom in November and maybe I was just looking for a "quick fix." In any case, I found this book to be a real downer. It was difficult to read and offered no comfort for my grief which was absolutely what I was looking for. I am a very spiritual person and am always seeking to broaden my perspective but this just depressed me. As I said, maybe I misjudged what the book would be about.
Compassionate Reality  Jul 6, 2006
Ths book has depth but written with simplicity showning the living reality of the human journey. While it relates the turth of the human pain, it shows the potential of human compassion and journeying with one coming to the end of their earthly home and entering their space of eternal light. Just as one welcomes, this book empowers one to let go, to say "good by" - "Adios" - Go with God. As one who works in preparing parish ministers to visit the sick, this book is invaluable in its influence of one's attitudes and method in accompanying the death and dying.
THE Christian view of death...and the rest of our life  Jun 24, 2006
Proving that the Eastern Orthodox Church has much wisdom to offer Western Christian thought, John Garvey pens an eloquent, provocative meditation on death and much else besides, both unsettling and comforting at the same time. Refusing to be sentimental about death being a 'natural part of life', Garvey forces the reader to face up to the futility of both pious 'feel-good' religion and the bluster and hot-air of wishful thinking atheism. Placing all his hope in the faithfulness of a loving God, Garvey faces the age-old problem of evil with remarkable candour. In the end, the ways of God to men are vindicated and Garvey affirms the hope of the believer in the Resurrection. Filled with classic insights and poetic grace, this book should be required reading, period.

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