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Death, Anxiety, and Religious Belief : An Existential Psychology of Religion (Hardcover) (Jonathan Jong
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There are, it is often said, no atheists in foxholes. Faced with death, it seems natural for people to turn to God in a last minute plea for salvation; gleeful tales of deathbed conversions, from Oscar Wilde's to Charles Darwin's, are legendary. Yet despite the popular and scholarly appeal of this simple hypothesis, there has not been a systematic attempt to evaluate the assumptions underlying it.
Do human beings live in chronic fear of their own death? Do reminders of our mortality really motivate religious belief? Do religious beliefs really provide comfort against the inevitability of death? In Death, Anxiety and Religious Belief, Jamin Halberstadt and Jonathan Jong begin to answer these questions, drawing on recent research on the development of death anxiety and religious belief from childhood to the point of death, as well as their own experimental research on conscious and unconscious fear and faith.