Death and Dying: A Bibliographical Survey

By Samuel Southard; G. E. Gorman | Go to book overview

Chapter 6
EDUCATION FOR DEATH

6.1 CULTURAL RESOURCES
6001 Hoffmann Frederick John. The Mortal No: Death in the Modern Imagination. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1964.

From a wide-ranging study of nineteenth and twentieth century Western literature, the author explores imaginative speculation about death in which evidences of physical dissolution have been rearranged as a transition to the spiritual life. In earlier generations, grace represented an adjustment to death by distributing our native energies between current demands and future hopes. Belief in a future life brought hope that we sin not from despair but in the expectation of a saving grace. Later, twentieth century secularism considered death in terms of violence as doctrines of grace receded. Personal violence destroyed the equilibrium between life, death and immortality. Adjustment to this violence separated humans from time and from ordinary reality. Out of this nameless violence came a third reaction to death, the search for a new basis of self-definition, as in existentialism. Insightful and erudite, despite some omissions.


6.11 LITERATURE: NOVELS, POETRY
6002 Adler C. S.; Gene Stanford and S. M. Adler. We Are but a Moment's Sunlight: Understanding Death. New York: Pocket Books, 1976.

Poems, short-stories, sections from novels and autobiographies are arranged by topics: perceptions of death, process of dying, what comes after death, customs for coping with death, grief and mourning, suicide.

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