This event has now finished.
  • Date and time: Thursday 13 May 2021, 2.30pm to 4pm
  • Location: Online
  • Audience: Open to alumni, staff, students, the public
  • Admission: Free admission, booking required

Event details

Grief: A Study of Human Emotional Experience Lecture

Instead of approaching grief from the perspective of the individual, as we often do in western-style theories such as Attachment and Loss, and Continuing Bonds, Douglas Davies proposes we start from the less usual idea of complex or dividual personhood. This sees identity made up of many influencing people and places, including pets and even gardens, let alone our many possessions. Drawing on some anthropological studies of ‘things’, reciprocity or gift theories, and some theological ideas of mortality, this lecture moves into a discussion of ‘death cleaning’ and ‘life’ clearing’ as issues of minimal versus maximal ‘stuff’ as we sort things out in anticipation of our own death.   

Douglas Davies

Douglas J Davies trained in Anthropology (Durham University and Oxford’s Institute of Social Anthropology) and Theology (Durham), worked at Nottingham and now Durham University as Professor in the Study of Religion and Director of its Centre for Death and Life Studies; holds PhD (Nottingham), Oxford M. Litt., and higher doctorate D.Litt., and honorary doctorate from Sweden’s Uppsala University. An elected Fellow of The Academy of Social Sciences, The Learned Society of Wales, and The British Academy, his many books include Death Ritual and Belief, (first published 1997, now in revised third edition 2017); Mors Britannica: Lifestyle and Death-Style in Britain Today (Oxford, 2015); Natural Burial (with Hannah Rumble, Continuum, 2012).  Emotion, Identity and Religion: Hope, Reciprocity and Otherness (Oxford, 2011). The Encyclopedia of Cremation (with Lewis Mates, Ashgate, 2005). Anthropology and Theology (Berg, 2002). His Brief History of Death (Blackwell, 2005) has been translated into numerous languages including Greek and Japanese. An ordained Anglican, and world-authority on Mormonism, he is a keen gardener and cactus grower.