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Approaching the EndA Theological Exploration of Death and Dying$
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David Albert Jones

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199287154

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199287154.001.0001

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An Illuminating Comparison: Augustine and Ambrose on the Theology of Death

An Illuminating Comparison: Augustine and Ambrose on the Theology of Death

Chapter:
(p.56) 4 An Illuminating Comparison: Augustine and Ambrose on the Theology of Death
Source:
Approaching the End
Author(s):

David Albert Jones

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199287154.003.0005

The argument of Augustine in De civitate Dei is strikingly similar to that of Ambrose in De bono mortis. However, while Ambrose treats death as something good in itself, Augustine sees it as bad in itself. Their contrasting attitudes have practical effects on how they regard virginity, marriage, and mortification; on how each reads the letters of Paul; and on their discussions of suicide and martyrdom. Furthermore, it leads to a noticeable shift in the Christian treatment of fear of death, grief, and the care of the dead (that is, prayers said for those who have died).

Keywords:   Ambrose, Augustine, death, fear of death, soul, suicide, theology of death, mortification, cult of virginity, prayer for the dead

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