Study Guides (238,604)
Canada (115,237)

death and dying midterm notes.docx

8 Pages
Unlock Document

McMaster University
Religious Studies
Laura Parker

Lecture 1 - Thanatology – the study of death o Kastenbaum – thanatology is the study of life with death left in it o Dimensions of thanatology  Philosophical and ethical  Religious  Psychological  Sociological  Anthropological  Clinical  Political  Educational - 55-57 million people die each year – leading cause is cardiovascular disease - Ethnocentrism – making judgements about others in terms of own cultural biases - Cultural relativism – the belief that society should be understood in terms of its own cultural beliefs and practices - Death system – Robert Kastenbaum – the interpersonal, sociocultural and symbolical network through which an individual’s relationship to mortality is mediated by his or her society o Components of death system  People  Places  Times  Objects o Functions of the death system  Warnings and predictions  Preventing death  Caring for the dying  Disposing of the dead  Social consolidation after death  Making sense of death  Killing - film – Mexican day of dead – son playing video games and less fearful of death Lecture 2 - Chief Dan George 1982 – Death poem – “death comes to us in many ways..” - Concepts of death o Cellular death – accepted today in Western society because of our medical-based concept of death – the process that results when the heartbeat, respiration and brain activity cease o Brain death – 1968 Harvard Medical School – irreversible cessation of all function of brain - Definitions of Death o Webster’s definition – very Western o Problematic – definitions vary o Other concepts of death  Micronesia – dead at 40  Hinduism – cycle of death and rebirth  Christianity – things continue after death – afterlife  Buddhist - dead and living coexist, dead can influence the well- being of the living - Variations in death o Kellahear - studied cancer patients  Acceptable death – little emotion, hospital setting  Good death – preparation, social adjustment, hospice or palliative setting o Badone – France  Good death – time to prepare  Bad death – unexpected o Catedra – Nomadic cattle herders in Spain  Good death – sudden  Bad death – long and painful, toll on family  Tragic death – sudden, healthy people - Social Death o In western societies- those who are terminally and are abandoned o Non-western – those who act against social norms/rules, outcasts - Clip – Monty’s python o Grim reaper coming to dinner party to bring people to death, typical western idea of death, image of light at the end of the tunne - Death anxiety – most common reaction to the thought of dying , argued a major motivator for all behaviour o Freud - death anxiety is really a cover up for a deeper conflict, we can’t fear death because we don’t have believe in our own death  Thanatophobia = fear of death o Malinowski – the most significant function of religion is to deal with death anxiety o Becker – fear of death is universal and one of the biggest drives of humans, 2 types of arguments  Healthy minded argument : fear of death is a social construction and emerges out of society  Morbidly minded argument : fear of death is repressed during early childhood experiences of rage and love for caretakers, this fear is placed into unconscious  both of these arguments hold part of the truth, repression takes care of most people’s fear of death o types of death anxiety  fear of death – fear of what happens after  fear of death of others – fear of what happens to people close to you after  fear of dying – fear of the process, dying itself - Dylan Thomas poem – helpless state to which elderly are reduced to, encouraging them to fight death, encouraging people to live life to the fullest o Last paragraph – talking about his father and asking him to curse at him to be the man he once was, separating his father from rest of the paragraphs - Film – A Good Death o People should be allowed to die in character and allowed to die as they lived o When, where, why and how – questions of death o Exercise and diet – lengthen life o African area- believe illness comes from natural or supernatural sources o Alcor – frozen people o Social death can come before or after death o Social death – going to jail o Israel – people killed each other to avoid being killed by the Romans – seen as a good death Lecture 3 - Funerals o Average cost is $5000-$7000 plus other costs such as graves - What is a ritual o A repetitive, stylized act that happens at least on a semi-regular basis o All religions feature rituals o Secular rituals – standing for national anthem, graduation, morning routines - Mortuary rituals o Robert Hertz – death is not felt as instantaneous, rather as a social event and a ceremonial process by which a dead person becomes an ancestor o Ron Grimes – funeral vs. Rite , ethnocentrism - Rites of Passage – culturally defined activities that mark a transition from one stage of life to another – one of the most important types of rituals o Every culture has them for birth, puberty, old age, death o 3 stages: separation (individual removed from society to prepare for transition), transition (isolated from society to prepare for re-entry with new role, luminal/liminality- Turner), incorporation (person re-enters society in new role) - Funeral Rites – Gennep o Separation- isolates corpse and mourners from society o Transition – preparation of deceased and wake o Incorporation – passage of the soul and return of mourners into society - Funeral objectives – Grimes o Support and protect the living o Honor the dead o Facilitate exit from the society of the living o Initiate incorporation into afterlife - Nokanshi people of Japan who prepare the body – the Nokan ceremony Lecture 4 - Bereavement – objective event of loss, change of social status, outcome of large-scale social phenomena o Psychological and social stress o Social status change – ex. Orphan, widow, etc. - Grief – the reaction to loss o Emotional, physical, behavioural responses o Dissociative flight – extreme or even psychotic denial o Physical signs – tightness in throat, shortness of breath, etc. o Other signs – psychomotor agitation – aimless wandering o Behaviours – crying, searing for the deceased - Theories of Grief o Freud – the grief work theory  Grief is adaptive, grief is time consuming and work, purpose is to detach from the lost one, long serious of confrontations with the reality of the loss, process is complicated by our resistance to letting go, failure of grief results in dysfunction and misery  No cultural differences taken into consideration o Bowlby – attachment  Connects biological need for survival with grief and mourning, through animal studies - adult grief resonate with our early
More Less

Related notes for RELIGST 2M03

Log In


Don't have an account?

Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.