A Brief History of Death

Front Cover
John Wiley & Sons, Apr 15, 2008 - Religion - 204 pages
0 Reviews
The act of death itself and the rituals surrounding it vary enormously and shed a fascinating light on the cultures of which they are a part. In this brief and lively history, Douglas Davies – internationally acknowledged as one of the leading experts in this field – tackles some of the most significant aspects of death and weaves them into a compelling story about our changing attitudes to dying.
  • Offers a fascinating examination of this subject which is of enduring interest in every culture in the world
  • Considers the profound influence death has had on subjects ranging from philosophy to anthropology, through to art, literature, and music - inspiring some of our most enduring artistic highpoints
  • Broaches some of the most significant aspects of death, such as the act of dying, grieving, burial, artistic interpretations of death, places of memory, the fear of death, and disasters/tragedies
  • Weaves these numerous approaches to death into a compelling story about our changing attitudes to dying
  • Contains several illustrations, and is written in an accessible and lively style.

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.


1 Journey Beyond
2 Partings Sweet Sorrow
3 Removing the Dead
4 Ecology Death and Hope
5 Art Literature and Music
6 Places of Memory
7 Fear of Death
8 Purposeful and Useless Death

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2008)

Douglas J. Davies is a Professor in the Department of Theology at Durham University. He is widely acknowledged as one of the world's leading experts in the history, theology and sociology of death. His books include: Anthropology and Theology (2002); Death, Ritual and Belief, Second edition (2001); Themes and Issues in Christianity (1998); Transforming Mormon Identities (1998); Reusing Old Graves (1995); and Church and Religion in Rural England (1991). He has also published a large number of articles on death, and contemporary Christianity.

Bibliographic information