A good and holy death: Ars moriendi and the battle of wit versus truth

Daniel Rentfro*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

There is an ancient Christian tradition of a ‘good and holy death’. That tradition has largely been forgotten in the medicalization of death, which regards death solely as an enemy to be defeated at all costs. This paper examines the tradition of a holy death through the lens of Margaret Edson's play W;t, with particular attention paid to the use of John Donne's poetry in the play. The paper then uses theologian Allen Verhey's writings on the Christian art of dying as a means to understand the play in a Christian context, with special attention paid to the way in which it portrays Vivian Bearing, the play's protagonist, as a victim as much as a beneficiary of modern medicine.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)730-744
Number of pages15
JournalNew Blackfriars
Volume103
Issue number1108
Early online date7 Nov 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 23 Nov 2022

Keywords

  • W;t
  • Christianity
  • Death and dying
  • John Donne
  • Allen Verhey

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'A good and holy death: Ars moriendi and the battle of wit versus truth'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this