Friday, August 29, 2014

Two Understandings of Death: On the Dormition of the Theotokos

Two Understandings of Death: On the Dormition of the Theotokos: we will notice a profound contradiction between two understandings of death. Blessed repose, dormition, falling asleep – the word “death” is not used in reference to the Theotokos. Incidentally, another word used in ecclesiastical parlance is derived from here: “reposed” – not died or perished, but reposed. We see that there is a different understanding of death. On the one hand, there is the understanding connected with the triumph of the Mother of God; on the other, there is our ordinary understanding of death as a tragic end, as the termination of all things. One feels animal fear, the fear of death, before this tragic end. How greatly this fear of death contradicts the basic value judgments of modern society, a society of consumerism and prosperity! But this very society, imbued with false values, recognizes the impossibility of joining its ideals – those of unlimited consumption and pleasure – with the fact of death.

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