The Art of Dying is an essential book for modern ministry and contemporary life. Over the last few decades, dying has become a lengthy drawn-out process. Many people who are diagnosed with a terminal illness live for years as their bodies slowly decline. While they visit doctors and undergo treatments, dying people are still able to visit family and pursue end of life goals.
This presents great opportunities and challenges to pastors, care givers, family members, friends and other relatives. Those who are dying will require a longer period of intense care giving. Yet they also have the opportunity to more intentionally draw on their faith as they prepare for death. In fact, all Christians have this opportunity, but the modern trend of long-term dying highlights the need for all Christians to prepare for their death.
Christians have a rich tradition of preparing for death. Drawing on their beliefs in the sacredness of the human body, the image of God, and the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the earliest Christians cared for the sick and dying and created the first hospitals. Medieval Christians practiced the ars moriendi when the plague struck Europe and many people died alone. Nineteenth-century American and British Christians practiced the “beautiful death” as they visited loved ones awaiting last words and expressions of heavenly visions.
While many of these traditional Christian practices were lost during the 20th century, The Art of Dying seeks to rediscover these practices and apply them in the 21st century. This book is of immense value to Christians caring for elderly relatives, pastors providing bedside ministry, or any Christian who realizes that the life to come is worth getting ready for.
Read an excerpt from The Art of Dying as published in Christianity Today.
Pre-order The Art of Dying here.
Reviews and Endorsements
“Every seminarian and parish minister should read this book. Rob Moll recovers the Christian tradition’s lost teaching on preparing for death. He then offers theologically sound guidance for families and clergy as they serve the dying and then honor their legacy. Indispensable.”
“This book is urgently needed by many churches and individuals who don’t help their members or loved ones to die well. Rob Moll reminds Christians not to be afraid of their own deaths.?His numerous ideas also teach us how to accompany other people to their deaths. I pray this book will enable many congregations to develop new practices and programs for the elderly and their caretakers.”
“We, the church, need to recover the art of dying.?. . . I hope that people will read this book–and talk about it, and take inspiration from it.?I hope we will let Rob Moll’s insights help us become communities where people can reckon with, rather than dodge, death.”
“The Art of Dying takes the fear out of dying and replaces it with rich models of dying well. Drawn from a broad spectrum of historical, theological, bioethical, social and practical resources, interlaced with captivating narrative, The Art of Dying paints a vision of what dying and grieving with the Christian community has looked like–and once again should look like.?While it is particularly relevant for every Christian who will die, other mortals will benefit from reading over our shoulders.”
“Dying has for many today, like sex in the nineteenth century, become the great unmentionable. But this brave, realistic, well-researched and well-digested book restores the ‘good death,’ as the climax of faithful discipleship, to the Christian radar screen. On going home to God, and helping others on the same journey, what is said here is excellent from every point of view.”