314 pages, 7.00 x 10.00
Paperback | 9780268100537 | June 2019
Hardcover | 9780268100520 | June 2019
Despite the fact that we all die, humans do not share the same view of death. In Death: A Reader, Mary Ann G. Cutter explores prominent themes that emerge and reemerge in the history of ideas regarding the nature of death from prominent global perspectives that span ancient to contemporary discussions. Thirteen themes are presented in order to convey a sense of major views of death that are found in the philosophical and sacred literature of Asia, the Near and Middle East, and the West. Each chapter contains the context of the theme, primary source selections, reflections, and suggestions for further reading.
Four features of this volume distinguish it from other philosophical texts on death. First, Cutter provides a culturally diverse selection of primary source readings on the nature of death. Second, along with the more traditional discussions of death, she provides discussion on emerging topics in death studies—namely, medical immortality and digital immortality. Third, she presents some of the key ethical issues regarding death, notably suicide, treatment refusal, and physician-assisted suicide, through the lens of the nature of death. Finally, she offers engaging practical exercises that challenge readers to think through their own personal and legal wishes regarding death and dying.
Mary Ann G. Cutter is professor of philosophy at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs. She is the author and co-author of a number of books, including Thinking through Breast Cancer: A Philosophical Exploration of Diagnosis, Treatment, and Survival.
"This book is a stunningly comprehensive collection of readings, insightful analyses, and thoughtful questions and exercises on a broad range of topics related to death. It will be a tremendous resource for anyone who writes, teaches, or cares about death." ~Ana Iltis, Wake Forest University
"I know of no other anthology of this type. This exceptional book plays the dual role of being a philosophically sophisticated guided tour of death through the conceptual and analytical exploration of primary and secondary sources, but it is also a practical guide for having difficult conversations with students on these hard topics. Death is something that all will face. Preparation is important." ~Mark J. Cherry, Dr. Patricia A. Hayes Professor in Applied Ethics and professor of philosophy at St. Edward's University, Austin, Texas
"Death affects everyone, but it can be difficult to have a conversation about it. Death: A Reader is a way to begin that conversation, even if just with yourself. The book's goal is to compile different ideas about death, and allow the reader to draw their own conclusions." ~Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine
"We have long needed an introductory reader that can help us situate current medical controversies about death in relation to the broader philosophical and religious ways humans have come to terms with it. Mary Ann Cutter has provided a great selection of readings that provide that needed perspective. Practical exercises related to activities like obituary writing, funeral planning, and grief management help highlight why this rich perspective is needed and why confrontation with death is a matter of action as well as thought." ~George Khushf, University of South Carolina
"Death: A Reader offers culturally, conceptually, and temporally diverse readings that provide rich and profound ways to consider the inevitable." ~Lisa Rasmussen, University of North Carolina, Charlotte
“This book provides a fine introductory review of global understandings about death. Cutter includes primary source excerpts dating from 8000 BCE to 2016, including Eastern and Western sacred writings and philosophical thought.” ~Choice