Understanding Death: An Introduction to Ideas of Self and the Afterlife in World Religions

Understanding Death: An Introduction to Ideas of Self and the Afterlife in World Religions

Understanding Death: An Introduction to Ideas of Self and the Afterlife in World Religions

Understanding Death: An Introduction to Ideas of Self and the Afterlife in World Religions

Synopsis

A comprehensive survey of how religions understand death, dying, and the afterlife, drawing on examples from Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist, and Shamanic perspectives.

Considers shared and differing views of death across the world’s major religions, including on the nature of death itself, the reasons for it, the identity of those who die, religious rituals, and on how the living should respond to death

Places emphasis on the varying concepts of the ‘self’ or soul

Uses a thematic structure to facilitate a broader comparative understanding

Written in an accessible style to appeal to an undergraduate audience, it fills major gap in current textbook literature

Excerpt

The meaning of the word “death,” like so many other important words in our vocabulary – life, self, mind, body, love, respect, dignity, honor, grief – differs from culture to culture, from past to present, and even from person to person within one community. the field of death studies, which encompasses academic research, popular literature on death and dying, as well as the teaching of courses on death in colleges and universities, has its roots in a modern North American movement spurred on by the now famous 1969 publication by Elizabeth K übler-Ross of On Death and Dying. the movement has resulted in worldwide studies that investigate and theorize death and dying from numerous perspectives: historical, ethical, psychological, sociological, philosophical, theological, and literary. As an introduction to the views and practices of various religions regarding death and life after death, this book offers the opportunity for a comparative reading in the hope that the reader will gain insight from what Arvind Sharma calls “reciprocal illumination” – the idea that we may find greater understanding of one tradition in the light of others (Sharma, 2005).

One’s first encounter with death may result in childhood puzzlement, shock, or a deep feeling of irrevocable loss. the experience is . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.