Memento mori--remember death--this is how the medieval monks exhort us. Our life, given in birth and taken by death, is radically marked by finitude, which can be a source of great fear and anguish. Our finitude, however, does not in itself need to be something negative. It confronts us with the question of our life's meaning and spurs us on to treasure our days. Our contingency, as evidenced in our birth and death, reminds us that we have not made ourselves and that there is nothing necessary about the marvelous fact that we exist. Particularly from a Judeo-Christian perspective, embracing our finitude will mean gratefully accepting life as a completely gratuitous gift and living one's days informed by a sense of this gratitude. ""Kampowski is a thinker of rare acuity. Indebted to Hannah Arendt, his work consistently instructs. Here we find wisdom on natality and gratitude, the faith community's 'common sense, ' human action as ordered to interpersonal communion, marriage, and cultural diversity, the marital bond and human promising, the danger of loving humanity rather than humans, the nature and claims of the kingdom of God, and more. Every student of human and Christian flourishing must read this book."" --Matthew Levering, Mundelein Seminary ""Embracing our Finitude draws together themes in both classical and contemporary philosophy, including Continental and Anglophone philosophy, to present a positive account of human finitude. . . . This book should be read by every humanities student who is searching for something different from the sterile narcissism of our Western anti-culture. It is beautifully written, avoids academic jargon, and is accessible to anyone with an interest in truth, beauty, and goodness."" --Tracey Rowland, University of Notre Dame, Australia ""What does it mean to be born and to have to die? These brilliant essays in Christian anthropology outline the path of an authentic wisdom wherein the human person, consenting to his finitude, assumes with gratitude the gifts received and the relations of dependence which they involve. When the desire of individuals for absolute independence engenders a mortal loneliness and undoes communities, Kampowski opens the way for a firm, rational, and Christian hope."" --Serge-Thomas Bonino, General Secretary of the International Theological Commission Stephan Kampowski is Professor of Philosophical Anthropology at the Pontifical John Paul II Theological Institute for the Sciences of Marriage and Family in Rome. He is the author of Arendt, Augustine and the New Beginning (2008) and A Greater Freedom (2013).
Stephan Kampowski is Professor of Philosophical Anthropology at the Pontifical John Paul II Theological Institute for the Sciences of Marriage and Family in Rome. He is the author of Arendt, Augustine and the New Beginning (2008) and A Greater Freedom (2013).