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Table of Contents for The Mystery of Death

by Nikolaos P. Vassiliadis

FOREWORD, p. 3

TABLE OF CONTENTS, p. 9

BIBLIOGRAPHY, p. 13

THE IMPARTIAL EXTORTIONIST OF THE HUMAN RACE

A shocking problem, p. 19. The innate fear of death, p. 23. The greatest mystery of divine wisdom, p. 25.

SECULAR PHILOSOPHY AND DEATH

An impious degradation of man, p. 30. Mythical and childish notions, p. 33. Gravestone inscriptions of the ancient Greeks, p. 36. "Painful sorrow" and "meditation upon death", p. 39. Uncertainties and contradictions, p. 43. Agony and melancholy, p. 46. Doubt and shallowness, p. 52.

DEATH ENTERS VIOLENTLY INTO THE WORLD

The blessed life of Adam and Eve, p. 55. Free will, p. 60. The first rebellion on earth, p. 63. The verdict of death was pronounced immediately! p. 69. Spiritual death, p. 72. The death of the body—a natural consequence, p. 76. A universal phenomenon, p. 81. We alone and no one else! p. 86. "O, what agony the soul endures"! p. 92. The separation of soul and body, p. 95.

PUNISHMENT BECOMES A BLESSING

That we may not sin eternally, p. 99. Death restrains our pride, p. 102. The decay of the body is a blessing, p. 105. A source for sound philosophy, p. 108. Death opens the arena for martyrdom, p. I 11. God cultivates hopes, p. 113. God’s love for man transforms us for the better, p. 117.

THE INCARNATION OF GOD THE LOGOS: THE BEGINNING OF THE ABOLITION OF DEATH

Through man, death; Through man, resurrection, p. 121. The absolute sinlessness of the Lord, p. 126. The Lord opened for us the road to heaven, p. 129. Death is annihilated, p. 134. Preludes to resurrection, p. 137.

THE CRUCIFIXION: THE ABOLITION OF DEATH

He died "for all and instead of all", p. 141. He gives life to mankind and to nature, p. 149. He was crucified where death reigned, p. 154. "Through death we became deathless", p. 157.

THE DESCENT OF THE LORD INTO HADES

The victory is extended into Hades, p. 163. The descent of Christ into Hades, p. 167. Hades "received a body and encountered God, p. 175. Christ descended into Hades with authority, p. 180. "A bridge toward new life", p. 185. "He made a heaven of Hades!", p. 188.

RESURRECTION—ASCENSION—PENTECOST

Victory is confirmed, p. 192. Wholeness and illumination unto eternity, p. 197. Direct and obvious results, p. 201. "God and mankind have become one race", p. 206. He gave in return the grace of the Holy Spirit, p. 212.

DEATH BEFORE AND AFTER CHRIST

Death was fearful before Christ, p. 217. Death was beyond forbearance deserving great lament, p. 220. Now "it only bears the name of death", p. 222. Only the devil is truly dead! p. 226.

NOT KNOWING THE TIME OF DEATH IS A BLESSING!

The time of death is unknown, p. 230. Why is the time of death unknown? p. 233.

THE FEAR OF DEATH

Who fears death? p. 240.

OVERCOMING THE FEAR OF DEATH

Death is a passage toward eternity, p. 246. "Shed tears, but remain calm", p. 248. An attitude toward death which is acceptable to God, p. 251.

CHRISTIANS PHILOSOPHIZE CREATIVELY ON DEATH

"Be calm, look and see", p. 259. "Where is man with his many fantasies"? p. 262. "Observe and sigh", p. 265. We receive gladness of heart and eternal joy, p. 269.

THE MEMORY OF DEATH

We should remember death, p. 273. You shall never sin, p. 276. A supportive power, p. 280. The memory of death embraces many virtues, p. 283.

THE LESSONS FROM THE GRAVES

"Let us go out to the grave", p. 287. The graves of the Martyrs, p. 291. "Pray at length over the dead", p. 292.

THE DEATH OF THE MARTYRS

"To die is better than to live", p. 295. "Root, source and mother of all good things", p. 298.

HOW THE FATHERS CONSOLE US

The death of our beloved ones, p. 301. The grief of spouses, p. 305. "Should I not grieve over my child?", p. 311. Has your child died? "Thank God", p. 317. Blessed is the death of infants, p. 321.

THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AN EVIL AND A GOOD DEATH

Is a death which is cruel and unjust evil? p. 329. The death of sinners, p. 332. The death of the righteous, p. 334.

CARE FOR THE DEAD AFTER DEATH

Preparation, presentation and procession of the deceased, p. 338. Didactic symbols, p. 347.

THE FUNERAL SERVICE

The most dramatic service of our church, p. 352. The Funeral Psalms—The Amomos, p. 355. The Funeral Praises—Evlogitaria, p. 359. Mournings, lamentations, questions, hopes, p. 361. The Beatitudes and the Biblical Readings, p. 365. The official recognition and the final greeting, p. 370. "Dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return", p. 375.

THE ACCOUNTING OF THE SOULS BEFORE THE TOLL-HOUSES

The silent beginning of the future life, p. 378. He who dies sees "angelic authorities", p. 381. The accounting of the souls before the toll-houses includes those of both the righteous and the sinners, p. 385.

THE INTERMEDIATE STATE OF SOULS

The soul exists and acts without the body, p. 393. Where do the souls live after death? p. 397. A temporary state of anticipation, p. 400. How do the souls live there? p. 404. Those who have fallen asleep are aware of us and pray for us, p. 407. God reveals our needs to the righteous, p. 414.

THE SACRED MEMORIALS FOR THE DEAD

Prayers for those who have passed away, p. 417. The sacred Memorial Services, p. 420. The Saturdays of the souls and the "kollyva", p. 424. Are the Memorials beneficial? p. 427. Good works on behalf of the dead, p. 435.

THE RESURRECTION OF THE DEAD

The idea of "Reincarnation" is naive and nonsensical, p. 440. Is there a Purgatorial Fire? p. 444. "I expect the resurrection of the dead", p. 447. The resurrection of the body is required by the justice of God, p. 452. Be glad when the body is dissolved, p. 456. The resurrection of the dead, p. 458.

THE NATURE OF THE RESURRECTED BODY

With new attributes: Incorruptible, glorious, eternal, p. 469.

THE UNIVERSAL JUDGMENT

There will be a judgment, p. 483. Who will be the judge? p. 490. All the nations will be gathered, p. 493. How will the judgment be given? p. 500.

THE DEATHLESS DEATH

Is there a hell? p. 506. What are the punishments of hell? p. 513. Why hell is eternal? p. 520.

ETERNAL PARADISE

The future kingdom, p. 538. Inexpressible and inconceivable beauty, p. 542. The deification of man, p. 545. The blessedness of the righteous, p. 549. The unceasing joy of Paradise, p. 555. The most desirable life of the righteous, p. 558. The joyous encounter, p. 562. The blessedness of the righteous will be eternal, p. 567.

THE END OF THE WORLD

"Behold, I make all things new" (Rev. 21,5), p. 571.

INDEX OF SUBJECTS AND PERSONS, p. 583

Webmaster Note. This is one of the best books available on the Orthodox view of the entire Mystery of Death. I decided to scan in the entire Table of Contents in order to show the reader the number of related themes and how comprehensive is the Orthodox understanding of death. This is an indispensable book for anyone interested in this subject. I consider it one of the most important books I have ever read. It can be difficult to find as it is published in Athens. Try ordering from Eastern Christian Supply Company. The address of the publisher is The Orthodox Brotherhood of Theologians "The Savior", 42 Isavron St., 114  72 Athens, Greece.