Education as preparation for the spiritual crises of dying or greding

We die and grieve in the manner in which we are educated by our culture. Academically, this is shown in the works of Philipe Aries and Robert Fulton, but it is found in the bereavement literature of Bowbly and Parkes, as well as in popular songs, cinema, and television.

Education about death and bereavement began in North America in the late 1960s as a way of counteracting the death and grief denial at the university level since 1968.

As long as one continues to deny death and grief as dominant realities of personal human existence, death and grief come as shocks, as injustices, and crises. Twenty-five years experience in teaching about death has shown that death education can show the student that death is as important aspect of life as is one's sexuality or one economic status. Just as one cannot live fully without accepting sexuality and economic reality, so too, one can live fully only by accepting the reality of death and grief.

I this presentation, I will present four models of death cultures, indicating in each the dominant themes. I will show why death cultures differ and what effects these cultures have on the individuals within that culture.

Secondly, I will develop a concept of spirituality, drawing from philosophical, theological and artistic sources. I will explain why spiritual crises occur and how they can be averted.

Finally, I will show different models of death education and how death education can be used to prevent spiritual crises.

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