Grief is a universal human response to death and loss. Mourning is an equally universally observable practice that enables the bereaved to express their grief and come to terms with the reality of loss. Yet, despite their prevalence, there is no unified understanding of the nature and meaning of grief and mourning. The Meaning of Mourning: Perspectives on Death, Loss, and Grief brings together fifteen essays from diverse disciplines addressing the topics of death, grief, and mourning. The collection moves from general questions concerning the putative badness of death and the meaning of loss through the phenomenology and psychology of grief, to personal and cultural aspects of mourning. Contributors examine topics such as theodicy and grief, reproductive loss, mourning as a form of recognition of value, the roots of grief in early childhood, grief in COVID-times, hope, phenomenology of loss, public commemoration and mourning rituals, mourning for a devastated culture, the Necropolis of Glasgow, and the “art of outliving.” Edited by Mikołaj Sławkowski-Rode, the volume provides a survey of the rich topography of methodologies, problems, approaches, and disciplines that are involved in the study of issues surrounding loss and our responses to it and guides the reader through a spectrum of perspectives, highlighting the connections and discontinuities between them.
Mikołaj Sławkowski-Rode is assistant professor in the Faculty of Philosophy at the University of Warsaw and research fellow at Blackfriars Hall, University of Oxford.
Chapter 1: Hume and Doctor Johnson on Death
Chapter 2: The Problem of Mourning
Chapter 3: What Can the Roman Catholic Liturgies of the Dead Offer Mourners: Solidarity with the Deceased and Hopeful Protest?
Richard Conrad, OP
Chapter 4: Toward a Philosophical Theology of Pregnancy Loss
Amber L. Griffioen
Chapter 5: Mourning: A Phenomenology
Balázs M. Mezei
Chapter 6: Mourning and the Recognition of Value
Cathy Mason and Matt Dougherty
Chapter 7: Grieving and Mourning: The Psychology of Bereavement
Colin Murray Parkes
Chapter 8: Bereavement, Grief, and Mourning
Chapter 9: Mourning and the Second-Person Perspective
Chapter 10: Mourning Academic Mentors and Mentees
Douglas J. Davies
Chapter 11: Mourning and Memory, Private and Public Dimensions
Chapter 12: The Work of Mourning
Chapter 13: Sidgwick’s Dilemma
Chapter 14: “Israel but the Grave…” The Art and Architecture of Mourning
Chapter 15: The Difficult Art of Outliving
About the Contributors
Editor Sławkowski-Rode gathers a collection of essays on mourning, joining a strong "cloud of witnesses" across the gamut of the academic world, from priests to philosophers and novelists to poets. Together, Sławkowski-Rode and some 15 contributors wrestle openly with a question that seems generally hidden today. Denial of death or its sequestering in closed hospital rooms—especially since the COVID-19 pandemic—leaves many people with a sense of purposelessness or lack of closure with those who died. Given that this volume includes contributions from such authors as Eleanor Stump (chapter 2, "The Problem of Mourning") and Roger Scruton (chapter 12, "The Work of Mourning"), readers will be sure to gain insight from this collective analysis. The multidisciplinary approach Sławkowski-Rode takes in chapter 9 ("Mourning and the Second-Person Perspective") enables readers to see the issue from multiple angles while also considering the ever-present reality of the grief those left behind experience. Readers interested in comparative exploration of these issues at an advanced level might do well to consult Lydia Dugdale's The Lost Art of Dying (2021). Recommended. Lower- and upper-division undergraduates. Graduate students and faculty. General readers.
This book, The Meaning of Mourning: Perspectives on Death, Loss, and Grief, explores our experience of mourning from different angles. It's understandable to grieve when those close to you, like your parents, die. In my own case, when my Senior Tutor, who had taken care of me since childhood, died, I felt like I'd lost the rock I'd been leaning on. Then it occurred to me that instead of spending time in sadness it would be better trying to fulfill his wishes with enthusiasm and determination.
11/30/23, Choice: This title was included in the “The Top 75 Community College Titles: November 2023 Edition.”