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Suicide

MARS HILL AUDIO Reprint 20

John F. Desmond, "Walker Percy and Suicide"

Available for mp3 purchase
(From Modern Age, Winter 2005)

In this article, John Desmond uses the novels of Walker Percy to critique the increasing trend in today’s medical fields and in secular society as a whole to affirm, even if tacitly, that suicide is a decision belonging to each individual as a right. Desmond examines how the influence of existentialist philosophers, Albert Camus and Søren Kierkegaard, informed the theme of suicide in Percy’s novels. As a philosophical novelist, Percy was not merely interested in the narrative effect of suicide, but more deeply wanted to probe how modern man finds himself living a form of “spiritual suicide” or “sickness unto death” (in the words of Kierkegaard). Percy’s critique of modernity was — following the lead of Alexis de Tocqueville — a critique of a Cartesian dualism that separated mind from body and man from nature, leading eventually to an existential man isolated both from himself and his neighbor. 24 minutes. $2.

MARS HILL AUDIO Journal

Volume 36

Guests on Volume 36: Vigen Guroian, on cultivating virtue in children; James Tunstead Burtchaell, on how church-related colleges become secularized; Dallas Willard, on training church leaders; Robert Wuthnow, on how spiritual seekers understand their beliefs; Thomas Oden, on why the contemporary Church must learn from the early Church; Darrel Amundsen, on the early Church's views on suicide; Edward J. Larson, on what really happened at the Scopes trial; and Roger Lundin, on Emily Dickinson.

MARS HILL AUDIO Conversation 4

Edge of Life, Edge of Death

Richard Doerflinger recounts the deliberations of the Human Embryo Research Panel, appointed by the National Institutes of Health. On side two, Richard John Neuhaus, editor of First Things magazine, talks about the legitimization of suicide and euthanasia in a society bankrupt of moral and political coherence.