Death, Dogma, and Discourse

Wednesday, 01 Mar 2017

Death, we might say, delivers our dogma to us--not as a stale set of theological propositions but as a living creed: a hope that stares unflinchingly into the harrowing face of death. Only that sort of hope, that sort of dogma, is worth dying for.
Death, dogma, and discourse might not go together at first glance. Death and dogma perhaps—as John Henry Newman wrote, “Many a man will live and die upon a dogma”—but that makes discourse the third wheel. How is discourse—personal exchange—related to death and dogma? My experience has shown me that discourse is actually the beating heart of our hope. Our longing for it carries us over death’s threshold and into eternity. Death It was just hair—black, faintly curled. It had gathered into clumps on the pillowcase and the ...

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