Albert Camus famously wrote in the ‘Myth of Sisyphus’ that ‘There is but one truly serious philosophical problem, and that is suicide. Judging whether life is or is not worth living amounts of answering the fundamental question of philosophy.’
When I was fifteen and decided that I wanted to study theology I had a look through the theology books at ‘Foyles’ in London. I ran my fingers along the spines of commentaries, books on the Historical Jesus and Church History before my eyes rested on a title that caught my eye ‘A Psychology of Hope’. I picked up the book and studied its cover ‘A biblical response to tragedy and suicide’ it said. I decided that when I reached dissertation time I was going to look at suicide and where God can be found in places of such deep despair.
Some six years later, I have flirted with many other ideas for my Third Year Project at LST – the culmination of three years theological study – and I decided to focus upon the ethical approaches and pastoral responses to suicide in terms of how the Church relates to those struggling with suicidal thoughts and ideation.
It’s a little intimidating to research a topic that is so huge, so emotive – but I’m looking forward to it and I’m going to try and vocalise some of the thoughts that probably won’t make it into my 10,000 word missive! I’m hoping that I am going to, above all, learn about the character of God through this and catch a glimpse of His vision and heart.