Death, Burial, and the Afterlife

Dublin Death Studies

by Philip Cottrell (Volume editor) Wolfgang Marx (Volume editor)
©2014 Edited Collection CLXXXVIII, 14 Pages
Series: Carysfort Press Ltd., Volume 780


The essays incorporated into this volume share an ambitious interest in investigating death as an individual, social and metaphorical phenomenon that may be exemplified by themes involving burial rituals, identity, and commemoration. The disciplines represented are as diverse as art history, classics, history, music, languages and literatures, and the approaches taken reflect various aspects of contemporary death studies. These include the fear of death, the role of death in shaping human identity, the ‘taming’ of death through ritual or aesthetic sublimation, and the utilization of death – particularly dead bodies – to manipulate social and political ends.
The topics covered include the exhumation and reburial of Cardinal John Henry Newman;the funerary monument of John Donne in his shroud; the funeral of Joseph Stalin; the theme of mutilation and non-burial of the corpse in Homer’s Iliad; the individual’s encounter with death in the work of the German Philosopher Josef Pieper; the Requiem by the Irish composer Charles Villiers Stanford; the imagery of death in Giovanni Verga’s novel Mastro-don Gesualdo, and the changing attitudes toward death in the writings of Michel Foucault.

Table Of Contents

  • Cover
  • Title Page
  • Copyright
  • Dedication
  • Contents
  • Acknowledgements
  • Illustrations, Tables, Musical Examples
  • Introduction
  • 1 | Empty Tombs and Apparitions: A Reflection on the Theological Significance of the Exhumation of the Remains of John Henry Newman.
  • 2 | John Donne, Undone, Redone: the John Donne Monument Reconsidered.
  • 3 | Stalin’s Death and Afterlife.
  • 4 | The Mutilation and Non-Burial of the Dead in Homer’s Iliad
  • 5 | Identity and the Act of Dying: Sketching a Philosophical Perspective.
  • 6 | ‘emotional rather than cerebral’? Charles Villiers Stanford’s Requiem
  • 7 | Arrigo Boito and Giovanni Verga: the Body, Illness and Death in Mastro-don Gesualdo
  • 8 | Death, Medicine, Literature: Foucault in 1963.
  • Contributors


Fig. 1.1) Cardinal John Henry Newman (photographed by Herbert Barraud, 1887). Hulton Archive / Getty Images.

Fig. 1.2) Reliquary of Cardinal John Henry Newman. Shrine of the Blessed John Henry Newman at the Oratory of St Philip Neri, Edgbaston, Birmingham.

Fig. 2.1) Nicholas Stone, Monument to John Donne, 1631 / 2, London, St Paul’s Cathedral. Conway Library, The Courtauld Institute of Art, London.

Fig. 2.2) Nicholas Stone, Monument to John Donne, 1631 / 2 (detail), London, St Paul’s Cathedral. Conway Library, The Courtauld Institute of Art, London.

Fig. 2.3) Martin Droeshout, Portrait of John Donne in his Winding Sheet (after a lost original of 1631), engraved frontispiece to John Donne, Deaths Duell, London, 1632.

Fig. 2.4) Comparative photomontage reconstruction of the pose adopted by Donne in his winding sheet using a live model.

Fig. 2.5) Anon, Monument to Bishop John Wakeman (d.1549), Tewkesbury Abbey (the arrangement is not original – the transi figure originally occupied the chamber below. The gisant effigy is lost).

Fig. 2.6) Anon, The Tomb of Sir Richard Herbert, 1600 (detail of gisant and transi), St Nicholas, Montgomery, Wales.

Fig. 2.7) Melchiorr Salaboss, The Cornwall Triptych, 1588 (detail of transi), St Mary’s, Burford, Shropshire.

Fig. 2.8) Wenceslaus Holler, Tomb of Dean John Colet, engraving from William Dugdale, The History of St Paul’s Cathedral in London (London, 1658).

Fig. 2.9) Anon, Infant Funerary Brass of Elyn Bray, 1516 (rubbing), St. Mary’s, Stoke d’Abernon, Surrey.

Fig. 2. 10) The Turin Shroud (detail), Cathedral, Turin. The Bridgeman Art Library / Getty Images.

Fig. 3.1) Joseph Stalin lying in state in the hall of Trade Union House, Moscow, 12th March 1953. Hulton Archive / Getty Images.

Fig. 3.2) The Bodies of Lenin and Stalin in the Kremlin Mausoleum.

Fig. 7.1) Arrigo Boito, photographed in 1885. Universal Images Group / Getty Images.

Fig. 7.2) Giovanni Verga, photographed in 1900. Mondadori / Getty Images.


4.1) Post-mortem mutilation in Homer’s Iliad incorporating threats, allusions and actual occurrences.

6.1) Text distribution in the requiem settings by Verdi, Stanford and Dvořák.

Music Examples

6.1) Stanford, Requiem, Introit, begin

6.2) Verdi, Missa da Requiem, Introit, begin

6.3) Stanford, Requiem, Introit, opening ‘Requiem aeternam’ (soprano)

6.4) Stanford, Requiem, Kyrie, begin (soprano)

6.5) Stanford, Requiem, Gradual, begin (soprano)

6.6) Stanford, Requiem, Offertory, ‘Quam olim Abrahae’ theme

6.7) Stanford, Requiem, Sanctus, begin (altos)

6.8) Stanford, Requiem, Agnus Dei et Lux aeterna, begin


ISBN (Softcover)
Publication date
2020 (February)
Oxford, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, New York, Wien, 2014. 14, 188 pp., 16 fig. b/w, 2 tables

Biographical notes

Philip Cottrell (Volume editor) Wolfgang Marx (Volume editor)


Title: Death, Burial, and the Afterlife