Dying is a social as well as physiological phenomenon. Each society characterizes and, consequently, treats death and dying in its own individual ways—ways that differ markedly. These particular patterns of death and dying engender modal cultural responses, and such institutionalized behavior has familiar, economical, educational, religious, and political implications. The Handbook of Death and Dying takes stock of the vast literature in the field.
Chapter 12: Spirituality
We use the termspirit in many ways, to refer to the vitality of a high school team, to the content of beverages, as well as to the position that there are conscious beings that are immaterial. In this last sense, the term fundamentally means independence from matter: either that the creature is an immaterial being or that there is something about the being that acts in an immaterial way, that is, in a way that cannot be fully explained by bodied functions. Other meanings ofspirit are extensions of this idea of immateriality, which we ...