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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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Pádraic Conway studied French and Philosophy at University College Cork and subsequently Biblical and Theological studies at Trinity College Dublin, being elected a Trinity Scholar in 1988. After finishing his PhD thesis on Karl Rahner he worked for Andersen Consultants, Trócaire and the Trinity Foundation before moving to University College Dublin where he became Vice President for University Relations in 2004. He was also the director of the UCD International Centre for Newman Studies, providing new impetus for research on the founding rector of the Catholic University of Ireland (UCD’s predecessor). He is the editor of Karl Rahner: Theologian for the Twenty-First Century (2010). On 5 October 2012, Pádraic Conway passed away after fighting a three-year illness with cancer in a brave and inspirational way.

Philip Cottrell is a lecturer at the School of Art History and Cultural Policy, UCD, where he teaches the module ‘Art and Death in Europe 1400-1700’. His published research, which includes several articles in The Burlington Magazine and Art Bulletin, has primarily focused on painting in Renaissance Venice. However, in addition to his research on the John Donne monument, he has also published on aspects of nineteenth-century art collecting in Britain, particularly the Manchester Art Treasures Exhibition of 1857. He is currently working on a monograph on the sixteenth-century Venetian painter Bonifacio de’ Pitati in collaboration with Prof. Peter Humfrey of the University of St Andrews.

Judith Devlin is a senior lecturer in modern history in UCD. She...

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