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Religion, Death and the Senses

ID: 3175 - View Book Page - Edit In OJS

This edited collection brings together academics and practitioners to explore 6 physical and 3 socio-cultural senses in relation to death and dying: the senses of sight, of smell, of sound, of taste, of touch, of movement, of decency, of humour, and of loss. Each sense section will comprise two chapters to provide differing examples of how death and dying can be viewed through the lens of human physical and cultural senses. Chapters will include historical and contemporary examples of ways in which death, dying and grieving are inextricable from their physical sensual expressions and socio-cultural mores. Most books about death explore how death can be theorised, theologised, and philosophised, or attend to the particular needs of health professionals working in palliative or pastoral care, with little attention to how people engage with and attend to, death, dying and grief sensually. The uniqueness of this collection lies in two areas, firstly its deep engagement with a range of physical and socio-cultural sensual responses to death and dying, and secondly, through its contributors who are drawn from a wide spectrum of professional, practical, and theoretical expertise and scholarship in fields which continue to redefine our understanding of mortality.

Published: Jun 1, 2024

Book Contributors


Section Chapter Authors
Chapter 1
Death Personified in Popular Culture: The Grim Reaper and Sante Muerte Andrew Chesnut, Kate Kingsbury
Chapter 2
Seeing is Believing: Aesthetics of Mortality in Vanitas Art Celia Kenny
Chapter 3
Smelling Death: An Olfactory Account of Popular English Funeral Customs, c.1850-1920 Helen Frisby
Chapter 4
The ‘Smell of Death’ Wendy Birch
Chapter 5
Auditory Grief: Funeral Songs as my Mother’s Final Words Jasmine Hazel Shadrack
Chapter 6
Sounding out Death and Dying Suzi Garrod
Chapter 7
The Taste of Death (literally): Cannibalism as Acts of Compassion and Healing Christina Welch
Chapter 8
Food, Drink and Mourning; Death, Grief and Social Bonding through the Sense of Taste Beverly Rogers
Chapter 9
Crafting as a Continuing Bond: Exploring the Links between Traditional Handicrafts and Lost Loved Ones Enya Healey
Chapter 10
The Sense of Touch in Relation to Working with Archaeological Human Skeletal Remains Heidi Dawson-Hobbis
Chapter 11
Kinetic Death: O Bon: Hawai’i’s Japanese Dance of the Dead Candi Cann
Chapter 12
Egungun, the Living Memorial: Dance of the Ancestors Olu Taiwo
Chapter 13
Displaying the Dead with Decency: A Funeral Director’s Commentary on Plastination Lucy Jacklin
Chapter 14
Body Disposal, Decency and Dark Tourism Christina Welch, Alasdair Richardson
Chapter 15
It’s not Funny, is it? - Humour Used as a Coping Strategy Against Death by Funeral Workers in the UK Angie McLachlan
Chapter 16
Playing Chess with Death: Satire in the Time of a Pandemic Laura Hubner
Chapter 17
When Glaciers Die: Mourning and Memorialisation in Ecological Devastation Jonatan Spejlborg Juelsbo
Chapter 18
Grave Goods as Continuing Bonds; Gifted Objects and the Sense of Loss through Grief Kym Swan