The Routledge Companion to Death and Dying  book cover
1st Edition

The Routledge Companion to Death and Dying

ISBN 9781138852075
Published May 26, 2017 by Routledge
612 Pages

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Book Description

Few issues apply universally to people as poignantly as death and dying. All religions address concerns with death from the handling of human remains, to defining death, to suggesting what happens after life. The Routledge Companion to Death and Dying provides readers with an overview of the study of death and dying. Questions of death, mortality, and more recently of end-of-life care, have long been important ones and scholars from a range of fields have approached the topic in a number of ways. Comprising over fifty-two chapters from a team of international contributors, the companion covers:

  • funerary and mourning practices;

  • concepts of the afterlife;

  • psychical issues associated with death and dying;

  • clinical and ethical issues;

  • philosophical issues;

  • death and dying as represented in popular culture.

This comprehensive collection of essays will bring together perspectives from fields as diverse as history, philosophy, literature, psychology, archaeology and religious studies, while including various religious traditions, including established religions like Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism as well as new or less widely known traditions such as the Spiritualist Movement, the Church of Latter Day Saints, and Raëlianism. The Routledge Companion to Death and Dying is essential reading for students and researchers in religious studies, philosophy and literature.

Table of Contents

List of Contributors

Introduction – Christopher M. Moreman

Section 1: Religious Approaches to Death and the Afterlife

1. Catholic Views of the Afterlife – Diana Walsh Pasulka

2. Protestant Views of the Afterlife – Mark S. Sweetnam

3. Mormon Views of the Afterlife – Daniel Belnap

4. Christian Funerary Traditions – Thomas G. Long

5. Jewish Views of the Afterlife – Dan Cohn-Sherbok

6. Jewish Funeral and Mourning Practices – Vanessa L. Ochs

7. Muslim Views of the Afterlife – David Cook

8. Funerary Culture in Islam – Amila Buturovic

9. Zoroastrian Afterlife Beliefs and Funerary Practices – Almut Hintze

10. Sikh Afterlife Beliefs and Funerary Practices – Arvind-Pal S. Mandair

11. Hindu Afterlife Beliefs and Funerary Practices – T. S. Rukmani

12. Jaina Afterlife Beliefs and Funerary Practices – Peter Flügel

13. Theravāda Buddhist Afterlife Beliefs and Funerary Practices – Rachelle M. Scott

14. Tibetan Buddhist Afterlife Beliefs and Funerary Practices – Matthew T. Kapstein

15. Shinto and Death: From Cultural Roots to Contemporary Thought – Stuart D. B. Picken

16. Early Chinese Afterlife Beliefs and Funerary Practices – Mu-chou Poo

17. Contemporary Daoist Afterlife Beliefs and Funerary Practices – Adeline Herrou

18. North American Indigenous Afterlife Beliefs – Joseph A. P. Wilson

19. African Afterlife Beliefs – Zayin Cabot

20. Overcoming Death in New Religious Movements – Susan J. Palmer

21. Afterlife Beliefs in the Spiritualist Movement – Walter Meyer zu Erpen

22. Death and the Afterlife in the Raëlian Religion – Erik A. W. Östling & James R. Lewis

Section 2: General Beliefs and Practices

23. Heavens and Hells – Eileen Gardiner

24. Reincarnation – James A. Santucci

25. Mysticism – Thomas Quartier

26. The American Cemetery – Albert N. Hamscher

27. Cremation – Douglas J. Davies

28. Mummification – Heather Gill-Frerking

29. Digital Memorial – Candi K. Cann

Section 3: Liminal States and Liminal Beings

30. Near-Death Experiences – Gregory Shushan

31. Past-life Memories – Jim B. Tucker

32. Ghosts – Owen Davies

33. Angels – John Charles Arnold & Tony Walter

34. The Undead: Vampires and Zombies – John Edgar Browning

35. Animals – Barbara R. Ambros & Laura Hobgood

36. Organ Donation and Spirit Possession – Lesley A. Sharp

Section 4: On Dying

37. Defining Medical Death – James L. Bernat

38. The Death Awareness Movement – Lucy Bregman

39. Conceptual Approaches to Understanding the Dying Process – Kenneth J. Doka

40. The Cross-Cultural Study of Grief – Dennis Klass

41. A "Good Death" in Hospice Palliative Care – Harold Coward & Elizabeth Causton

42. Assisted Dying – Paul Badham

Section 5: Additional Ethical Considerations

43. Suicide: Psychopathology, Existential Choice, or Religious/Cultural Influences – Mark M. Leach & Frederick T. L. Leong

44. Martyrdom – Paul Middleton

45. The Psychology of Mass Murder and Serial Killing – Katherine Ramsland

46. Abortion – Daniel C. Maguire

47. Intellectual Disability and the End of Life

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Christopher M. Moreman is Associate Professor and Department Chair of Philosophy and Religious Studies at California State University, East Bay, USA.


A remarkably impressive collection of various points of view on death and afterlife. The joining of conventional religious worldviews with the latest research coming out of psychical science - including the near-death experience, children’s reincarnational memories, and ghosts the world over - is especially noteworthy. A professor teaching a course on death couldn’t do better than selecting this as his or her one and only text for the course. Stafford Betty, California State University, USA.