How Do Religions of the World View Suicide? Holy Cross Religious Studies Professor Explains

The Conversation
June 12th, 2018 by 


In the wake of the highly publicized suicides of fashion designer Kate Spade and chef and writer Anthony Bourdain last week, there’s been increased discussion of some of the moral and ethical dilemmas surrounding suicide.

Writing for The Conversation, Mathew Schmalz, associate professor of religious studies at Holy Cross, says that many of the world’s major religions have traditionally condemned suicide, based on the belief that human life fundamentally belongs to God. However, Schmalz writes, religious leaders and communities of faith have shifted in their understanding of suicide in the past few decades and have made efforts to support those who suffer from suicidal thoughts.

“Such efforts recognize that God especially loves those who suffer in the darkness of depression,” said Schmalz. “Suicide then is not an act that calls for divine punishment, but an all-too-common threat that calls us to reaffirm hope in life as a precious gift given by God.”

You can read the full article at The Conversation. Schmalz was also featured as a guest speaker on Fox News’ Lighthouse Faith podcast, where he spoke about this issue.

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