Academic journal article Generations

Our Guest Editor

Academic journal article Generations

Our Guest Editor

Article excerpt

Today, a widow might not choose to make her husband's jawbone into a necklace, as Robert Kastenbaum tells us the early Trobriand Islanders did, but newly bereaved people have had much in common across the ages. Rituals and other practices to dispose of the deceased's body, to honor and remember the person's life, and to console those left behind have been universal. How are these functions performed now? And how can service providers be of help to older people and their families who are facing a death and making "final arrangements"?

In this issue of Generations, Kastenbaum, our guest editor, guides us on a tour of past and present practices, from anatomical artifacts, to traditional ceremonies, to nursing home rituals and cyber-memorials.

Kastenbaum is a renowned scholar and the preeminent authority on the psychology of death, with impressive credentials as a researcher, audior, and clinician. His book The Psychology of Death, first published thirty years ago, is said to have served as the basis for this area of study and is only the first in a long list of pioneering works. He is the editor of the Macmillan Encyclopedia of Death, a coeditor of The Encyclopedia of Aging and the Humanities, and served as editor of the International Journal of Aging and Human Development. His popular textbook, Death, Society, and the Human Experience, is now in its eighth edition.

"As a student in psychology in the 1950s," Kastenbaum says, "I was interested in 'the basic questions,' which psychology wasn't addressing at the time. Where was the work on the core of life-creativity, time, love, and death? My professors diought I was strange, but they let me explore it. …

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.