From the March/April, 2010 issue of Touchstone
Subject to Death & Life by Timothy A. Smith

Subject to Death & Life

Paul Celan’s Todesfuge, J. S. Bach & the Passion of Christ

by Timothy A. Smith

Death is the intractable problem of the human condition, yet remedied by means of death, that is, the life-giving death of Christ. In his Confessions, Augustine writes:

How hast thou loved us, O good Father, that hast not spared thine only son, but hast delivered him unto death . . . even the death of the cross? He that was alone free among the dead, that had power to lay down his life, and power to take it up again: for us was he unto thee both the Victor and the Victim, and therefore Victor, because the Victim: for us was he unto thee b . . .


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