Issue 14: Death and Dying

Nik Ansell

Hell: The Nemesis of Hope?

Nicholas Ansell looks at the doctrine of hell in contemporary evangelicalism using John Stott’s view of hell as a point of critical reflection on the subject

Eric R. Severson

Listening on the Day of Silence: Khora and Holy Saturday

Eric Severson explores the neglected day of Christianity’s Holy Saturday by way of Plato’s concept of khora, offering a perspective on Sabbath that includes the darkness and despair of the “middle day.”

Debra Salazar


In this creative nonfiction piece, a woman recycles her dead lover’s computer and discovers the difficulty of letting go.

Liz Dolan

Early Sorrow

A poem by Liz Dolan explores children’s responses to death.

Rachael Hanel

Have Mercy

In this essay, a gravedigger’s daughter considers the meaning of mercy.

Barry Krammes, Christina Valentine

Diminutive Disasters Of Calamaties, Of Innocence, Of Passing, and Of Insanity

Barry Krammes’s work is reminiscent of the Old World, laden with stark bygones of stories that hold pain, suffering, and disaster. And yet, the meaning of these sculptural pieces of calamity, past, innocence, and insanity speak to each viewer in extraordinarily different ways.

Daniel J. Salinas

Lessons from My Daughter: Reflections on Life, Death, the Church, and Utilitarian Ethics

On November 23, 1993, my wife and I were suddenly thrown into an unknown country, the one of people with disabilities and their families.1 Our daughter Karis was born with cerebral palsy. All four hemispheres of her body suffered significant movement damage; she could not eat, get dressed, brush her teeth, comb her hair, or […]

Cristin O'Keefe Aptowicz

A Shock of Sky

A poem by Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz that describes a non-eyewitness response to the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center.

Cara Strauss

Huddled against Death

Mourning death is dramatically different around the world, as is the care people need in the face of death.

Jen Grabarczyk-Turner, Shimon Sakakibara

No Shelter (and other works)

This art exhibit from Shimon Sakakibara includes two-dimensional paintings, two installations, and a review by Jen Grabarczyk; it speaks to a loss of hope and a deceptive sense of life and meaning in individuals, specifically in regards to youth.

Brent Adkins

How (Not) to Think about Death: A Meditation on Life

This essay argues that although it is common in contemporary philosophy to claim that the ineluctability of death entails its internality, thinking of death as ineluctable and external is much more fruitful.

Anne Siems, Heather Smith

A Theatre of Memory

Anne Siems’s quiet and classical paintings are haunting and disturbing.

Cate Whetzel

A Review of Katie Ford’s Colosseum

Cate Whetzel reviews Katie Ford’s “Colosseum,” a book of poems that “record [the] anxiety, trauma, and stunned sense of coping” of “the loss of New Orleans” and “the destruction and devastation of the classical world.”

Brian G. Phipps

On Awakening

A poem by Brian G. Phipps that dwells between waking and sleeping, life and death.

Christina Cook

Tomatoes of Kobarid

A poem by Christina Cook meditates on death and rebirth during wartime.

Lambert Zuidervaart

Earth’s Lament: Suffering, Hope, and Wisdom

This essay proposes a philosophy that is committed to truth and passionate for comprehensive wisdom, one that expresses suffering out of hope for God’s future.

Craigh Goodworth, Jen Grabarczyk-Turner

Concrete Cruciform

As one of several performances within Sacred Offense: Studies in Art, Aesthetics and Spirituality, Concrete Cruciform explores the relationships between the sacred and offensive, the ascetic tradition of Christianity and contemporary performance-based art, and artistic and spiritual practice, as well as integrating concepts of internal and external deserts, death in life and life in death, the aesthetic experience of the sublime, and the interplay of kenosis (emptying) and pleroma (filling).