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Death, Burial, and the Afterlife

Dublin Death Studies


Edited By Philip Cottrell and Wolfgang Marx

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.

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The editors would like to express their sincere thanks to all contributors – particularly for their patience during the editing process. Special thanks are due to Bridget Martin for her support of the editorial process, as well as to Áine Kelly Conway for her help in preparing Pádraig Conway’s essay. We are also extremely grateful to the members of the UCD research strand ‘Death, Burial, and the Afterlife’ as well as other participants in our symposia, public lectures and conferences whose interest and discursive contributions helped to develop the idea of this book and to shape its arguments and chapter structure. The UCD Seed Funding initiative contributed vital funding without which this project could not have been realised. Last, but not least, we thank Dan Farrelly, Eamonn Jordan, Lilian Chambers and everybody at Carysfort Press for the great enthusiasm and vigour which they brought to the project. They made the preparation of this volume a truly enjoyable experience.

Dublin, January 2014

Philip Cottrell & Wolfgang Marx

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