Resisting Death, Celebrating Life: Christian Social Ethics for Healthcare

  • Aana Marie Vigen
Part of the Black Religion / Womanist Thought / Social Justice book series (BRWT)


There are many kinds of death; the physical cessation of life is only one among them. It is quite possible to breathe and move and yet to feel dead inside. Sometimes people feel emotionally or spiritually deadened by strife. Human hearts wither without love and recognition. A kind of death swarms over a person when she loses hope and/or the sense of herself as intrinsically beloved. So when Lucille Clifton speaks of celebrating the fact that every day something has tried to kill her and has failed, I consider the full scope of death and rejoice with her that neither her body, spirit, or hope has perished.


Healthcare Institution Normative Claim Social Ethic White Person Healthcare Disparity 
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  1. 1.
    Lucille Clifton, The Book of Light (Port Townsend, WA: Copper Canyon, 1993), 25. Lucille Clifton’s “won’t you celebrate with me” from The Book of Light. Coperight © 1993 by Lucille Clifton. Reprinted with permission of Copper Canyon Press, P.O. Box 271, Port Townsend, WA 98368–0271.Google Scholar
  2. 40.
    See Jennifer Harvey, PhD dissertation, The Moral Crisis of “Being White” and the Imperative of Reparations, Union Theological Seminary in New York, New York, NY (Submitted and Defended April 2004).Google Scholar
  3. 44.
    Margaret Farley, “A Feminist Version of Respect for Persons,” in Feminist Ethics and the Catholic Moral Tradition, Readings in Moral Theology, no. 9, ed. Charles Curran and Margaret Farley (New York: Paulist, 1996), 179.Google Scholar

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© Aana Marie Vigen 2006

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  • Aana Marie Vigen

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