© 2019

Death and Dying

An Exercise in Comparative Philosophy of Religion

  • Timothy D Knepper
  • Lucy Bregman
  • Mary Gottschalk

Part of the Comparative Philosophy of Religion book series (COPR, volume 2)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-viii
  2. Death and Religion

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 9-9
    2. Amy Hollywood
      Pages 39-49
    3. Michelene Pesantubbee
      Pages 51-61
    4. Eduardo González Velázquez, Eduardo García-Villada, Timothy D Knepper
      Pages 63-76
  3. Medicalization and Religion

  4. Bioethics and Religion

  5. Comparative Conclusions

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 227-227
    2. Allen Zagoren, Lucy Bregman, Mary Gottschalk, Timothy D Knepper
      Pages 229-248

About this book


The medicalization of death is a challenge for all the world's religious and cultural traditions. Death's meaning has been reduced to a diagnosis, a problem, rather than a mystery for humans to ponder. How have religious traditions responded? What resources do they bring to a discussion of death's contemporary dilemmas? This book offers a range of creative and contextual responses from a variety of religious and cultural traditions. It features 14 essays from scholars of different religious and philosophical traditions, who spoke as part of a recent lecture and dialogue series of Drake University’s The Comparison Project. The scholars represent ethnologists, medical ethicists, historians, philosophers, and theologians--all facing up to questions of truth and value in the light of the urgent need to move past a strictly medicalized vision.

This volume serves as the second publication of The Comparison Project, an innovative new approach to the philosophy of religion housed at Drake University. The Comparison Project organizes a biennial series of scholar lectures, practitioner dialogues, and comparative panels about core, cross-cultural topics in the philosophy of religion. The Comparison Project stands apart from traditional, theistic approaches to the philosophy of religion in its commitment to religious inclusivity. It is the future of the philosophy of religion in a diverse, global world.


Bioethics and Religion Clinical intervention near the End of Life Contemporary Challenges of Medicalization Death, Dying and Religion Medicalization and Legalization of Death Secular Death The Ritualization of Death and Dying Death in Navajo tribe Death in Tibetan Buddhism Medicalization of Death in the Catholic Tradition Islamic Perspectives on Death and Clinical Intervention

Editors and affiliations

  • Timothy D Knepper
    • 1
  • Lucy Bregman
    • 2
  • Mary Gottschalk
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Philosophy and ReligionDrake UniversityDes MoinesUSA
  2. 2.Religion DepartmentTemple UniversityPhiladelphiaUSA
  3. 3.Department of Philosophy and ReligionDrake UniversityDes MoinesUSA

About the editors

Timothy Knepper is a professor of philosophy at Drake University, where he directs The Comparison Project, a public program in global, comparative religion and local, lived religion. He is the author of books on the future of the philosophy of religion (The Ends of Philosophy of Religion, Palgrave, 2013) and the sixth-century Christian mystic known as Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite (Negating Negation, Wipf & Stock, 2014). He is also the editor of a student-written, photo-narrative about religion in Des Moines (A Spectrum of Faith, Drake Community Press, 2017) and The Comparison Project’s lecture and dialogue series on ineffability (Ineffability: An Exercise in Comparative Philosophy of Religion, Springer, 2017). The Comparison Project programming currently includes a biennial lecture and dialogue series, a monthly series of open houses at faith communities, an annual interfaith youth camp, and on-line guides to the “religions of Des Moines.”
Lucy Bregman received her Ph.D. from the University of Chicago Divinity School. She is now Professor of Religion at Temple University in Philadelphia PA. She is the author of multiple books on death and dying, including Death in the Midst of Life: Perspectives on Death from Depth Psychology and Christianity (Baker Book House, 1992), Beyond Silence and Denial: Death and Dying Reconsidered (Westminster, 1999) and Preaching Death: The Transformation of American Funeral Sermons (Baylor, 2012). She has been active in the American Academy of Religion, and has Chaired the program unit on Death, Dying and Beyond. She loves to kayak on lakes.

Mary Gottschalk served as an adjunct professor at Drake from fall 2015 through spring 2017.  In conjunction with The Comparison Project, she co-taught an undergraduate honors course on Comparative Religion that explored the theologies of death and rituals of dying. Mary’s focus was on the conflict between religious traditions and modern medical practices. Her interest in bio-ethics and religion—an avocation rather than a career—began six years ago with issues of aging, and has expanded to include the intersection of bioethics and religion on a wide variety of medical innovations and procedures. Mary’s professional background was in the global financial markets. The author of a memoir and a novel, she also works as a freelance writer and editor. Mary has a B.A. from the University of Chicago and a M.B.A. from the University of Cincinnati.

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Death and Dying
  • Book Subtitle An Exercise in Comparative Philosophy of Religion
  • Editors Timothy D Knepper
    Lucy Bregman
    Mary Gottschalk
  • Series Title Comparative Philosophy of Religion
  • Series Abbreviated Title Comparative Philosophy of Religion
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019
  • Publisher Name Springer, Cham
  • eBook Packages Religion and Philosophy Philosophy and Religion (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-3-030-19299-0
  • Softcover ISBN 978-3-030-19302-7
  • eBook ISBN 978-3-030-19300-3
  • Series ISSN 2522-0020
  • Series E-ISSN 2522-0039
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages VIII, 248
  • Number of Illustrations 1 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Philosophy of Religion
    Comparative Religion
  • Buy this book on publisher's site