Confronting Death: College Students on the Community of Mortals

iUniverse, 2013 - 306 páginas

Death is a hard topic to talk about, but exploring it openly can lead to a new understanding about how to live. In this series of eighteen essays, college students examine death in new ways. Their essays provide remarkable ideas about how death can transform people and societies.

Alfred G. Killilea, a professor of political science at the University of Rhode Island, teams up with former student Dylan D. Lynch and various contributors to share insights about a multitude of issues tied to death, including terrorists, child soldiers, Nazism, fascism, suicide, capital punishment and the Black Death.

Other essays explore death themes in classic and contemporary literature, such as in Dante, Peter Pan, Kurt Vonnegut, and Christopher Hitchens. Still others explore death in modern context, considering the work of Jane Goodall, the threat of death on Mount Everest, the origins of the "Grim Reaper," and how violent street gangs deal with death.

At a time when American politics suffers from deep ideological divisions that could make our nation ungovernable, our mutual mortality may be the most potent force for unifying us and helping us to find common ground.


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Alfred G. Killilea is a professor of political science at the University of Rhode Island. He received his bachelor's degree from the University of Notre Dame and his master's and PhD from the University of Chicago. He is the author of The Politics of Being Mortal and is coeditor of Ethical Dilemmas in Public Administration. He lives in Kingston, Rhode Island. Dylan D. Lynch is a law student at Tulane University. He earned bachelor's and master's degrees in political science from the University of Rhode Island.

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