A Brief History of Death

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John Wiley & Sons, Apr 15, 2008 - Religion - 204 pages
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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.
 

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Contents

1 Journey Beyond
1
2 Partings Sweet Sorrow
24
3 Removing the Dead
48
4 Ecology Death and Hope
68
5 Art Literature and Music
89
6 Places of Memory
111
7 Fear of Death
131
8 Purposeful and Useless Death
150
Bibliography
174
Index
180
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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.

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