Making Sense of Dying and Death

Front Cover
Andrew Fagan
Rodopi, 2004 - History - 229 pages
This book aims to extend upon the growing body of literature concerned with dying and death. The book analyses various experiences and representations of dying and death from the perspective of academic disciplines as diverse as theology, philosophy, sociology, anthropology, and literature. The rationale for this is simple. As objects of study dying and death cannot be usefully reduced to a single academic perspective. One cannot hope to gain a deep and comprehensive understanding of dying and death by gazing at them through a single lens. Bringing various perspectives in a single volume aims to both accurately record those enduring properties of the phenomena, such as mourning and fear, whilst simultaneously analysing the diversity and heterogeneity of human beings' attempts to come to terms with this most forbidding of existential horizons.

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Page 18 - If the ordinary officials dislike the duty, let adequate payment be made to some poor man who shall render this service carefully and not perfunctorily. At a distance of thirty cubits from the grave, they shall set my coffin on the ground, and drag me to the grave by a rope attached to the coffin. Every four cubits they shall stand and wait awhile, doing this in all seven times, so that I may find atonement for my sins. Put me in the ground at the right hand of my father, and if the space be a little...
Page 80 - Great harm has been done to us. We have suffered great loss. And in our grief and anger we have found our mission and our moment. Freedom and fear are at war. The advance of human freedom, the great achievement of our time and the great hope of every time, now depends on us.
Page 67 - This quiet Dust was Gentlemen and Ladies, And Lads and Girls; Was laughter and ability and sighing, And frocks and curls. This passive place a Summer's nimble mansion, Where Bloom and Bees Fulfilled their Oriental Circuit, Then ceased like these.
Page 49 - Peter Brown, The Body and Society: Men, Women and Sexual Renunciation in Early Christianity (New York: Columbia University Press, 1988); Deborah Sawyer, Women and Religion in the First Christian Centuries (London: Routledge, 1996).
Page 81 - DEATH is a dialogue between The spirit and the dust. "Dissolve," says Death. The Spirit, "Sir, I have another trust." Death doubts it, argues from the ground. The Spirit turns away, Just laying off, for evidence, An overcoat of clay.
Page 211 - God's individual self-consciousness'' becomes the universal, becomes the religious communion. The death of the Divine Man, qua death, is abstract negativity, the immediate result of the process which terminates only in the universality belonging to nature. In spiritual self-consciousness death loses this natural significance; it passes into its true conception, the conception just mentioned.
Page 212 - All cognition of the All originates in death, in the fear of death. Philosophy takes it upon itself to throw off the fear of things earthly, to rob death of its poisonous sting, and Hades of its pestilential breath.
Page 26 - MAY I join the choir invisible Of those immortal dead who live again In minds made better by their presence : live In pulses stirred to generosity, In deeds of daring rectitude, in scorn For miserable aims that end with self. In thoughts sublime that pierce the night like stars, And with their mild persistence urge man's search To vaster issues.
Page 209 - I will endeavour to explain. For I deem that the true votary of philosophy is likely to be misunderstood by other men; they do not perceive that he is always pursuing death and dying; and if this be so, and he has had the desire of death all his life long, why when his time comes should he repine at that which he has been always pursuing and desiring.
Page 74 - Death will no longer be denied ; we are forced to believe in him. People really are dying, and now not one by one, but many at a time, often ten thousand in a single day. Nor is it any longer an accident. To be sure, it still seems a matter of chance whether a particular bullet hits this man or that ; but the survivor may easily be hit by another bullet ; and...

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