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Curing the Dread of Death

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  • Curing the Dread of Death 
    Title: Curing the Dread of Death
    Author: MENZIES R G & R E/IVERACH L (EDS)
    Format: PAPERBACK
    Publication date: 01/08/2018
    Imprint: AUSTRALIAN ACADEMIC PRESS
    Price: $29.95
    Publishing status: Active

    The dread of death has appeared throughout recorded human history in the form of art, literature, song, myth and cultural rituals. In both ancient and modern societies, death has been personified in various forms, such as a feared god or the grim reaper, stalking the terrified living. The awareness of our own mortality, arguably unique to humans, was famously described by William James as “the worm at the core” of our existence.

    The lingering tension of death appears to pervade various cultural and religious practices, such as the meditative handling of skull-shaped bracelets in Tibetan Buddhism, the decoration of graves associated with Dia de Muertos (ie. the day of the dead) in Mexico, or the wearing of a crucifix in various Christian denominations. Further, Terror Management Theory proposes that much broader cultural practices (eg. following a sporting team, seeking academic achievement, attaining wealth) may serve as defensive mechanisms in the face of the terror of death.

    Considerable experimental research supports the claim that adherence to cultural worldviews may serve to buffer against death fears. In sum, the apprehension or angst about death and immortality appears to be a pervasive aspect of human experience. The present volume reviews the dread of death, and it’s management, from a broad range of perspectives covering philosophy, art, history, psychodynamic theory, and social, developmental and clinical psychology.

    Experts from across the globe contribute to this comprehensive coverage of death anxiety. Throughout the book, one message shines through: Death is not to be feared, but may hold the key to living a vital, authentic life. So many authors within the volume suggest that we cannot live fully without complete acceptance of the fragility and finiteness of life. The challenge is to discover pathways to death acceptance to enable a life of significance and meaning.

    ISBN: 9781925644111
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