The Experience of DeathIn this essay, Gadamer is interested, not in discussing how death is represented, but in the way the experience of death has been steadily repressed (or unconsciously hidden). For Gadamer, the Enlightenment pushed for scientific advances and has secured many results, most impressively the origin of life through evolution. However, the quantifying power of the Enlightenment has continually struck an insolvable barrier with death. It is death's unquantifiable, unexplainable character that has made death the last bastion of religion. Nowhere is religion more evident than at most funerals. More importantly, many of the people who attend and participate in these funerals don't believe in God or an afterlife. Because death is a mystery, even unbelievers observe funerals.
"But if it is true that even this scientific Enlightenment, like that of the ancient world, finds its limit in the ungraspability of death, then it remains true that the horizon of questioning within which thought can approach the enigma of death at all is still circumscribed by doctrines of salvation. For us, this is the doctrine of Christianity in all its diversity of church and sects."