The Biblical Rhetoric of Death and Dying Cover Image

Meghalás és halál – bibliai beszédmódok
The Biblical Rhetoric of Death and Dying

Author(s): Enikő Ferenczi, Szabolcs Czire
Subject(s): Christian Theology and Religion
Published by: Erdélyi Unitárius Egyház
Keywords: Bible; death; dying; life; afterlife; underworld; biblical rhetoric; biblical tradition; burial; mourning

Summary/Abstract: While there are only a few typical expressions used in the Bible for describing death and dying (Hebrew: mut, mavet, halak, sakab, asap; Greek: thanatos), many biblical texts employ imagery of life and death for rhetorical ends. The first part of this study presents six such distinct categories: death as life’s natural end, death as (legal) punishment, death as ultimate threat, death as wisdom alternative of life, death as part of the prophetic judgment speeches, often called as “aversion therapy”, and finally death as a welcomed way out from misery and suff ering. The second part of the study discusses the realm of death, the imagery of the underworld, while the third part presents the biblical traditions around burial, mourning and especially around the practices and laws concerning the burial of the dead. The final part of the study discusses the early development of the hope of an afterlife in the Biblical tradition.

  • Issue Year: 121/2015
  • Issue No: 2
  • Page Range: 202-224
  • Page Count: 22