Religion: The Shape of Death

Death is a darkness upon which Christian Scripture throws surprisingly little light. The churches' dogmas and the theologians' thoughts about the nature of the soul and what happens to it after death have relatively sketchy Biblical evidence to go on. Speculation on the subject was wide open in the early centuries of Christianity, and it was the church fathers of that period who laid the foundation for later Christian thought on death. In a new book, The Shape of Death (Abingdon Press; $2.25), leading Lutheran Theologian Jaroslav Pelikan of the University of Chicago...

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