Grief, Death, and Longing in Stoic and Christian Ethics

Journal of Religious Ethics 45 (1):7-28 (2017)

The Stoic rejection of the passion of grief strikes many ethicists writing on dying as inhuman, selfish, or lacking appreciation for the world. This essay argues that Stoics rejected grief and the fear of death because these passions alienated one from the present through sorrow or anxiety for the future, disrupting one's ability to fulfill obligations of care for others and to feel gratitude for the gift of loved ones. Early Christian writers on death, such as Ambrose, maintained much of the substance of Stoic doctrine but transformed it through their belief in the resurrection and their corresponding revaluation of the future. While these writers rejected grief as an affective response to death, they affirmed longing for lost loved ones. These authors provide an example of how contemporary religious ethicists can use Stoic insights for recovering the tradition of the art of dying.
Keywords end of life ethics  passions  virtue ethics  ars moriendi  stoicism  bioethics
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DOI 10.1111/jore.12166
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Upheavals of Thought.Martha C. Nussbaum - 2001 - Journal of Religious Ethics 31 (2):325-341.
The Therapy of Desire: Theory and Practice in Hellenistic Ethics.Martha C. Nussbaum - 1996 - Zeitschrift für Philosophische Forschung 50 (4):646-650.

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