Intensive, Elective unit (Min. No. 8)

2nd semester: 9:30am-4:30pm, Saturdays 3, 17, 31 August, 21 September, 12 and 26 October.

Cross listed as Spirituality DS9214Y

This unit applies insights drawn from Christian spirituality, and material culture as well as pastoral practice to study a variety of responses to death, dying and bereavement. Students will be expected to engage with historical and contemporary theories and practices dealing with death and grieving. Reflection on and critical assessment of these practices will acquaint students with an understanding of the needs of the terminally ill and the bereaved.


Upon successful completion of this unit, it is expected that students will be able to:
1. identify how a work of art (of your choice) expresses cultural and spiritual attitudes to death and dying
2. articulate the foundational beliefs that underlie two Christian rituals surrounding death and dying
3. critically assess several theories of grieving
4. identify (with visual examples) how art in the past might have enhanced pastoral care of the dying and the bereaved
5. critically assess two or three themes that have emerged in recent literature on how Christian spirituality relates to death, dying and bereavement

Essay 6000 words (100%) or a presentation accompanied by a written reflection equivalent to 6000 words (100%)

BIBLIOGRAPHY *set texts recommended for purchase
No set texts. Readings will be provided on line for the students at the commencement of the unit.

Anderson, M. Sacred Dying: Creating Rituals for the End of Life. New York: Marlowe and Company, 2003.

De Pascale, Enrico. Death and Resurrection in Art. Translated by Anthony Shugaar. Los Angeles, CA: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2009.

Kellehear, A. Death and Dying in Australia. Melbourne: OUP, 2000.

Kelley, M. Grief: Contemporary Theory and The Practice of Ministry. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2010.

Morrill, Bruce. Divine Worship and Human Healing: Liturgical Theology at the Margins of Life and Death. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 1990.

Morrill, Bruce, and Susan Rodgers, and Joanna Ziegler, eds. Practicing Catholic Ritual, Body and Contestation in Catholic Faith. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006.

Musgrave, Beverly A., and Neil J. McGettigan, eds. Spiritual and Psychological Aspects of Illness: Dealing with Sickness, Loss, Dying and Death. New York: Paulist Press, 2010.