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University of Toronto St. George
Markus Schafer

SOC246 442012 72400 AM Sociology of Aging Class Notes Fall 2011 Class 12I IntroductionThe reading today Endings by Michael Kearl gives an account of two approaches to death and dying that are prevalent in modern times01 One that is subjective humanistic and philosophical what is the meaning of life and death 02 Another that is scientific and seeks an objective description of life and deathTalk What is successful aging Aging is a sexually transmitted disease from which there is no cure Whenever disaster strikes people often claim that lives were saved by quick thinking But this is not so lives are never saved only extendedContrast that withDo not go gentle into that good night old age should buran and rage at close of day Rage rage against the dying of the light Dylan ThomasThese two quotes show different perspectivesshows that we can express death as blunt biological reality or we can try to find a deeper meaning of what death actually meansII Modernity and deathDeath has changed from our premodern times to modern times Religions such as ancient Judaism Hebrewidea of eternity of darknessShio spbelow earth there was this dark place called Shio Poetry or scripturesjust as a cloud dissipates and vanishes those that go down in Shio do not come back Sense of nothingnessa lot of poetry and confusion and artistic effort that was spent on thinking about what Shio wasRabbis disagreed over what Shio was likedisagreed whether people who went to Shop were resurrected and came back and were poor vs others who said there was no such thing Christian eramedieval literatureDantes infernomore elaborate view of what death entailsin his view death is a passage to this other worldjourney of Virgil leading Dante through 9 circles of hellElaborate conception of the afterlife What happens after people die Muslimidea of paradise of relaxation going to a place of beauty
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