Death and Religion in a Changing World is a comprehensive and accessible study of the intersection of death and religion, examining how everyday people enact religious responses to death in the twenty-first century.
With contributions from leading religious studies scholars, this book moves away from the field’s focus on traditional beliefs to explore how religious traditions evolve in relation to their changing social contexts. Employing an ethnographic approach, Death and Religion in a Changing World further details how people from a wide variety of religious traditions and people without religious affiliation draw on and adapt religious practices as they respond to death in modern societies.
Every chapter in this second edition has been thoroughly updated and new chapters on the ethical issues of dying, including life-prolonging medical treatments, palliative care, physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia, and the modern hospice movement have been added. This book also covers emerging social and religious phenomena, such as public shrines, the Covid-19 pandemic, funeral celebrants, death with dignity, spiritual bereavement groups, and online funeral practices.
This cutting-edge work is essential reading for students and scholars of religion who are approaching the subjects of death and religion, and ritual studies.
Table of Contents
1. At the Intersection of Death and Religion
Part I. Religious Approaches to Death
2. Contemporary Hindu Approaches to Death
3. Death and Dying in Buddhist Cultures
Karma Lekshe Tsomo
4. Jewish Responses to Death and Mourning: Resilience in the Face of Dramatic Social Change
5. Christian Approaches to Death
6. Between the Prescribed and the Performed: Muslim Ways of Death and Mortality
Juan Eduardo Campo
7. Sikh Ways of Dying: Religious Ceremonies in Changing Deathscapes
8. "The Whole Damn State is a ‘Site!’": The Politics of Death and Burial in Native California
Dennis F. Kelley
Part II. Death and Dying in Contemporary Societies
9. Hospice: The Search for Better Dying
10. Dying Well, Dying Badly: Ethical Issues at the End of Life
Courtney S. Campbell
11. Changing Funeral Practices in the United States
12. Spontaneous Shrines and Public Memorialization in Historical Context
13. Religion and Grief
Kathleen Garces-Foley is a professor of religious studies at Marymount University, USA.