eschatology

The area of knowledge about death

Another one found in Jaron Lanier’s You Are Not A Gadget. Lanier is earning points with me for teaching me words. This one in particular I am surprised not to have encountered before, as it is a field of great interest to me. I suppose the matter is probably of great interest to everyone, but even so.

This comes from the Greek, meaning «final discourse». As is so often the case going back to the roots of the word brings up an image that simplifies meaning. Instead of being a discipline or study of death and matters ultimate, I see a couple of people talking and exchanging ideas. What a wonderful thing, to momentarily see any -ology not to be a matter of solitary study, or individual declaration of truth but instead as a topic of conversation. I will try to keep this in mind the next time I hear about any -ologies.