Op-Ed on Death in New York Times

I am very pleased to have had the opportunity to collaborate with Simon Critchley and Peter Catapano in making the following contribution to The Stone: “Why We Never Die.”
Andrea Fontanili_EyeEm
Excerpt: “Our existence has numerous dimensions, and they each live according to different times. The biological stratum, which I naïvely took to mean life in general, is in certain ways a long process of demise — we are all dying all the time, just at different rhythms. Far from being an ultimate horizon beyond the bend, death is a constitutive feature of the unfolding of biological life […read more].”


6 thoughts on “Op-Ed on Death in New York Times

  1. brie

    Thank you for this article – it was fascinating. I would love to read more about how your own fear of death evolved, or receded, as you got older. I have experienced a similar fear that I still carry with me as an adult, partly because I have not known how to address it.

  2. Rabbi

    Prof. Rockhill, you say that your current understanding of death “should not be taken as a form of spiritualist consolation”. By “spiritualist”, do you mean people who have certain “traditional” religious ideas about the soul’s permanence, an idea that actually is probably neo-platonic and medieval? Because, as a modern religious person, who agrees with your ideas about death and permanence, I find your description of things spiritually quite consoling!

  3. Anne Henderson

    Dear Gabriel, what a completely refreshing piece in the New York Times on death. And how remarkable that you understood, even as a child, that conventional religion and spirituality are little more than a man-made, or ego-serving, effort to escape the terror of death. I respectfully suggest that you might find the book Easy Death of interest.

  4. William Dunkelberger

    Thank you, Professor Rockhill, for a sensitive, fascinating, tantamount to ecstatic account of your and your sons’ relationship to and understanding of death. Your writing resonates with a certain fidelity with the message in a profoundly instructive book,” Easy Death”, which was endorsed by Elizabeth Kubler-Ross. Again, thank you.
    William Dunkelberger
    Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Army (Retired)


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