Cover image for Handbook of death & dying
Handbook of death & dying
Bryant, Clifton D., 1932-
Publication Information:
Thousand Oaks, Calif. : Sage Publications, [2003]

Physical Description:
2 volumes (xlii, 1088 pages) : illustrations ; 28 cm
General Note:
"A Sage reference publication."
v. 1. The presence of death -- v. 2. The response to death.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
HQ1073 .H36 2003 V.2 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Oversize
HQ1073 .H36 2003 V.1 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Oversize

On Order



The Handbook of Death and Dying takes stock of the vast literature in the field of thanatology , bringing together what has previoulsy been an unwieldy body of knowledge into a concise, yet comprehensive reference work. This two-volume handbook will provide direction and momentum to the study of death-related behaviour for many years to come.

Key features include:

· more than 100 contributors representing authoritative expertise in a diverse array of disciplines such as: anthropology; family studies; history; law; medicine; mortuary science; philosophy; psychology; social work; sociology; theology

· a distinguished editorial board of leading scholars and researchers in the field

· 103 definitive essays covering almost every dimension of death-related behavior

·the exploration of concepts and social patterns within the larger topical concern

· journal article length essays that address topics with appropriate detail

· multidisciplinary and cross-cultural articles.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Although the U.S. is considered a death-denying society, a focus on understanding the social and cultural issues around death has been gathering momentum since the 1960s and 1970s, a result of demographic changes, medical advancements and resulting ethical issues, and other factors. Topics in the Handbook of Death and Dying\b0 \b0 are presented as a collection of 103 comprehensive essays clustered in 10 general areas. The field of death studies is multidisciplinary; the more than 100 contributors are academics in sociology, psychology, social work, theology, history, medicine, law, and other areas of inquiry as well as practitioners in medicine, law, public policy, and mortuary sciences. Essays are gathered under general rubrics: in the first volume the section "Death in the Cultural Context" treats issues in confronting death, with essays on fear of death, death in popular culture, spiritualism, and more. The 12 essays that make up "Death in the Social Context" consider topics such as trends in mortality, accidental death, and terrorism. Suicide, capital punishment, euthanasia, and the hospice movement are among other topics in the first volume. The second volume deals with the response to death--the social ceremonies, the different ways of disposing of bodies, and the experiences of bereavement and survivorship. Ten essays on various aspects of the legalities of death are followed by a section on the response to death in literature, music, and art. The substantive essays are generally between 9 to 15 pages, with extensive bibliographies. A very deep and detailed index, close to 50 pages, easily leads the reader to more specific information. The single-volume Encyclopedia of Death and Dying0 (Routledge, 2000) is much less comprehensive. Death and the Afterlife: A Cultural Encyclopedia0 (ABC-CLIO, 2000) deals with the funeral and afterlife beliefs of various cultures. In breadth and heft, the Macmillan Encyclopedia of Death and Dying0 (2003) is most similar to the Handbook of Death and Dying0 . It is in a more traditional encyclopedic format with a mix of brief and longer entries. One can find similar information in both, and the two works share many of the same contributors, but the Handbook0 is perhaps more scholarly overall in tone. Both works are excellent and highly recommended. Although each has it strengths and slight differences in coverage (including the quirky--Elvis sightings in Macmillan,0 taxidermy as art in the Hand0 book), smaller libraries may be satisfied with the Macmillan work if it is already in the reference collection. -- RBB Copyright 2004 Booklist

Library Journal Review

This work aims to be a "concise but comprehensive compendium of the current state of knowledge in thanatology" as it draws together a variety of scholars and professionals-historians, physicians, sociologists, psychologists, anthropologists, theologians, mortuary scientists, social workers, and lawyers-to confront the inevitable fate of human life: death. Volume 1, "The Presence of Death," discusses the cultural and social significance of death, including causes of death, how people rationalize it with spiritual and religious beliefs, and contentious issues such as suicide, euthanasia, capital punishment, and abortion. "The Response to Death" is the focus of Volume 2, with articles covering funeralization, treatment of the body after death, grieving, and the legality of death. Well researched with lengthy bibliographies, the 100-plus essays are mainly written from a Western perspective, but there is some cross-cultural coverage. The index is rich with See and See Also references. The text's depth makes it a good companion to the more succinct Encyclopedia of Death and Dying, edited by Glennys Howarth and Oliver Leaman, and its multidisciplinary nature makes it an excellent addition to academic collections.-Heather O'Brien, Acadia Univ. Lib., Wolfville, N.S. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

Sociologist Bryant achieves the needed comprehensive synthesis of the last two centuries' thought about death. Recent reference works (Encyclopedia of Death and Dying, ed. by Glennys Howarth and Oliver Leaman, CH, Mar'02; Macmillan Encyclopedia of Death and Dying, ed. by Robert Kastenbaum, 2v., CH, Feb'03), though valuable in organizing the burgeoning literature of the past two decades, provide somewhat "fragmented" articles, according to Bryant, whose own handbook offers a comprehensive, historical, integrative review of "the social consequences of death and the behavioral mechanisms ... through which death is experienced." Each of the 100 review essays covers a type of death, death-related behavior, or social context. The separation into two volumes provides convenient distinction between issues of dying and its aftermath, further categorized into cultural, social, legal, psychological, philosophical, and creative contexts. Contributors hail from many disciplines (sociology or other social sciences to mortuary science), and are leading writers in their specialties. This work is best absorbed by individual section; notably strong is part 7, "Thanatological Aftermath." Students, professionals, and scholars in the social sciences and health professions are fortunate to have the "unwieldy corpus of knowledge and literature" on death studies organized and integrated. ^BSumming Up: Highly recommended. All collections. M. K. Hartung Florida Gulf Coast University

Table of Contents

Volume 1 The Presence Of Death
Preface: A Thanatological Odyssey
Death in Legal Context
Part I Death In Cultural Context
Confronting Death
The Universal Fear of Death and the Cultural ResponseCalvin Conzelus Moore and John B. Williamson
Historical Changes in the Meaning of Death in the Western TraditionWilliam R. Wood and John B. Williamson
Dealing With Death: Western Philosophical StrategiesMichael R. Taylor
Death Denial: Hiding and Camouflaging DeathBert Hayslip, Jr.
Death, Dying, and the Dead in Popular CultureKeith F. Durkin
The Death Awareness Movement: Description, History, and AnalysisKenneth J. Doka
Keeping The Dead Alive
The Spiritualist Movement: Bringing the Dead BackCharles F. Emmons
Reincarnation: The Technology of DeathJane Dillon
Hosts and Ghosts: The Dead as Visitors in Cross-Cultural PerspectiveClifton D. Bryant
Ghosts: The Dead Among UsCharles F. Emmons
The Malevolent "Undead": Cross-Cultural PerspectivesKeith P. Jacobi
Transcending Death: Religious After-Death Beliefs
SpiritualityJohn D. Morgan
Religion and the Mediation of Death FearMichael R. Leming
Christian Beliefs Concerning Death and Life After DeathDonald E. Gowan
Near-Death Experiences as Secular EschatologyTillman Rodabough and Kyle Cole
Death And Social Exchange
Life Insurance as Social Exchange MechanismDennis L. Peck
Full Military Honors": Ceremonial Interment as Sacred CompactTimothy W. Wolfe and Clifton D. Bryant
Symbolic Immortality and Social Theory: The Relevance of an Underutilized ConceptLee Garth Vigilant and John B. Williamson
Part II Death In Social Context: Variants In Morality And Meaning
The Social Modes Of Death: The Import Of Context And Circumstances
Historical and Epidemiological Trends in Mortality in the United StatesVicki L. Lamb
Global Mortality Rates: Variations and Their Consequences for the Experience of DyingClive Seale
To Die, by Mistake: Accidental DeathsLee Garth Vigilant and John B. Williamson
Megadeaths: Individual Reactions and Social Responses to Massive Loss of LifeJerome Rosenberg and Dennis L. Peck
On the Role and Meaning of Death in TerrorismLee Garth Vigilant and John B. Williamson
Death Attributed to Medical ErrorJerry T. McKnight and Pat Norton
Homicidal DeathSteven A. Egger and Kim Egger
Pre-Personality Deaths
Pre-Personality Pregnancy Losses: Miscarriages, Stillbirths, and AbortionsJack P. Carter
Sudden Infant Death SyndromeCharles A. Corr and Donna M. Corr
Death As Social Entity: The Social Construction Of Death
The Evolution of the Legal Definition of DeathTillman Rodabough
Death EducationCharles A. Corr and Donna M. Corr
Death As Intermission: The Continuation Of Identity
The Postself in Social ContextJack Kamerman
Part III Death And Social Controversy
Historical SuicideAlan H. Marks
Suicide and Suicide Trends in the United States, 1900-1999Dennis L. Peck
Suicide Survivors: The Aftermath of Suicide and Suicidal BehaviorJohn L. McIntosh
Cross-Cultural Perspectives on SuicideDavid Lester
Capital Punishment
A History of Execution Methods in the United StatesTrina N. Seitz
Capital Punishment in the United StatesStephanie Picolo Manzi
Military ExecutionsJ. Robert Lilly
The Abortion Issue in the United StatesMichael C. Kearl
The Hiv/Aids Epidemic
Dying of AIDS and Social StigmatizationRobin D. Moremen
Medical EuthanasiaGail C. Walker
The Abortion Issue in the United StatesMichael C. Kearl
Physician-Assisted DeathMonika Ardelt
Part IV Passing Away: Dying As Social Process
Death As Social Process: The Approach Of Death
Death Awareness and Adjustment Across the Life SpanBert Hayslip, Jr. and Robert O. Hansson
Dying as Deviance: An Update on the Relationship Between Terminal Patients and Medical SettingsCharles Edgley
Death As Social Process: Dying
The Dying ProcessGraves E. Enck
On Coming to Terms With Death and Dying: Neglected Dimensions of Identity WorkKent L. Sandstrom
The Institutional Context Of Death
The Hiv/Aids Epidemic
Dying of AIDS and Social StigmatizationRobin D. Moremen
Medical EuthanasiaGail C. Walker
Death in Two Settings: The Acute Care Facility and HospiceSarah Brabant
The History of the Hospice ApproachMichael R. Leming
Dying in a Total Institution: The Case of Death in PrisonFrancis D. Glamser and Donald A. Cabana
Formal and Informal Caregiving at the End of LifePamela J. Kovacs and David P. Fauri
Volume 2 The Response To Death
Before the Funeral
The Death Notification ProcessAlan E. Stewart and Janice Harris Lord
The AutopsyJames Claude Upshaw Downs
A Social History of EmbalmingMelissa Johnson Williams
The Organizational Resonse to Death
Fallen SoldiersMorten G. Ender and Paul T. Bartone and Thomas A. Kolditz
Death-Related Works Systems Outside the Funeral HomeWatson Rogers II and Clifton D. Bryant
Funeralization in the United States
The American Family and the Processing of Death Prior to the 20th CenturyPaul David Nygard and Catherine H. Reilly
The Evolution of the Funeral Home and the Occupation of Funeral DriectorJerome J. Salomone
The American FuneralBert Hayslip, Jr. and Kenneth W. Sewell and Russell B. Riddle
Black Funeralization and Culturally Grounded ServicesJames L. Moore III and Clifton D. Bryant
On the Economics of Death in the United StatesDwayne A. Banks
Funerlization in Cross-Cultural Perspective
The Funeral and the Funeral Industry in the United KingdomBrian Parsons
Practices Surrounding the Dead in French-Speaking BelgiumFlorence Vandendorpe
Practices Surrounding the Dead in French-Speaking BelgiumFlorence Vandendorpe
The Native American Way of DeathGerry R. Cox
The Hindu Way of DeathAnantanand Rambachan
The Muslim Way of DeathDawood H. Sultan
The Japanese Way of DeathHikaru Suzuki
The Taoist (Chinese) Way of DeathLinda Sun Crowder
The Jewish Way of DeathRuben Schindler
Postfuneralization Activities
ObituariesJoyce E. Williams
Gracing God's Acres: Some Notes on a Typology of Cemetery Visitation in Western CulturesJoseph E. Boyle
Impromptu Memorials to the DeadJon K. Reid
Death and Community Responses: Comfort Community and CultureWillam J. Hauser and AnneMarie Scarisbrick-Hauser
Monuments in Motion: Gravemarkers, Cemeteries, and Memorials as Material Form and ContextAnn M. Palkovich and Ann Korologos Bazaronne
Part VI Body Disposition
Disposing of the Dead: Elysium as Real Estate
The History of the American Cemetery and Some Reflections on teh Meaning of DeathVicky M. MacLean and Joyce E. Willams
Pet Burial in the United StatesDavid D. Witt
Disposing of the Dead: Options and Alternatives
CremationDouglas J. Davies
Body RecyclingKelly A. Joyce and John B. Williamson
The Iceman Cometh: The Cryonics Movements and Frozen ImmortalityClifton D. Bryant and Willam E. Snizek
Disposing of the Dead: Minor ModesDeAnn K. Gauthier and Nancy K. Chaudior and Rhonda D. Evans
Disposing of the Dead: Other Times, Other Places
The Social History of the European CemeteryHarold Mytum
Body Disposition in Cross-Cultural Context: Prehistoric and Modern Non-Western SocietiesKeith P. Jacobi
Mummification and Mummies in Ancient EgyptPeter Lacovara and John Baines
Part VII Thanatological Aftermath
Grief and Bereavement
The Evolution of Mourning and the Bereavement Role in the United States: Middle- and Upper-Class AmericansDavid E. Balk
Social Dimensions of GriefMaria I. Vera
The Experience of Grief and BereavementRobert A. Neimeyer and Lois A. Gamino
Bereavement in Cross-Cultural PerspectivePaul C. Rosenblatt
The Social Impact of Survivorhood
Widowhood and Its Social ImplicationsFelix M. Berardo
Children and the Death of a ParentEric Lichten
Parents and the Death of a ChildSangeeta Singg
Part VIII The Legalities Of Death
Death in Legal Contex
Living Wills and Durable Power of Attorney for Health CareCarolyn Pevey
The Death Certificate: Civil Registration, Medical Certification, and Social IssuesDennis L. Peck
Coroner and Medical Examiner - James Claude Upshaw Downs
Death, Succession, and the Testamentory Inheritance
The Disposition of Property: Transfers Between the Dead and the LivingRobert K. Miller, Jr. and Jeffrey P. Rosenfeld and Stephen J. McNamee
The Last Will and Testament: A Neglected Document in Sociological ResearchClifton D. Bryant and Willaim E. Snizek
The Legal Regulation of Death-Related Activities
The Regulation of Mortuary Science EducationTodd W. Van Beck
Cemetery Regulation in the United StatesRobert M. Fells
Death and Legal Blame
Death and Legal Blame: Wrongful DeathThomas J. Vesper
Negligent Death and ManslaughterFrances P. Bernat
The Dead as Legal Entity
"Thanatological Crime": Some Conceptual Notes on Offenses Against the Dead as a Neglected Form of Deviant BehaviorClifton D. Bryant
Part IX The Creative Imagination And The Response To Death
Death in ArtCharles E. Walton
Cultural Concern with Death in LiteratureDiana Royer
"Arise, Ye More Than Dead!" Culture, Music, and DeathRobert Kastenbaum
Organic Sculpture
Dead Zoo Chic: Some Conceptual Notes on Taxidermy in American Social LifeClifton D. Bryant and Donald J. Shoemaker
Part X The Future Of Death
Death in the Future: Prospects and PrognosisClifton D. Bryant and Charles Edgley and Michael R. Leming and Dennis L. Peck and Kent L. Sandstrom