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.

On the Role and Meaning of Death in Terrorism
On the role and meaning of death in terrorism

Murder,” wrote Karl Heinzen ([1849] 1978), “is the principal agent of historical progress” (p. 53). This rather macabre statement speaks volumes about the power that violence and terror wield in political discourse. Moreover, this lesson, which a host of terror groups the world over—at last count, more than 600 (Long 1990)—have learned very well, underscores the important role that death plays in attempts to initiate political change.

In the past two decades the world has seen an unprecedented increase in terrorism as a mechanism ...

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