ABC-CLIO

Digital Death

Mortality and Beyond in the Online Age

by Christopher M. Moreman and A. David Lewis, Editors

 

The number of Roger Ebert's Twitter followers rose dramatically after he died.

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Cover image for Digital Death

October 2014

Praeger

Pages 265
Volumes 1
Size 6 1/8x9 1/4
Topics Religion/General
  Technology/General
  • Award Winner!

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This fascinating work explores the meaning of death in the digital age, showing readers the new ways digital technology allows humans to approach, prepare for, and handle their ultimate destiny.

With DeadSocial™ one can create messages to be published to social networks after death. Facebook's "If I Die" enables users to create a video or text message for posthumous publication. Twitter _LIVESON accounts will keep tweeting even after the user is gone. There is no doubt that the digital age has radically changed options related to death, dying, grieving, and remembering, allowing people to say goodbye in their own time and their own unique way.

Drawing from a range of academic perspectives, this book is the only serious study to focus on the ways in which death, dying, and memorialization appear in and are influenced by digital technology. The work investigates phenomena, devices, and audiences as they affect mortality, remembrances, grieving, posthumous existence, and afterlife experience. It examines the markets to which the providers of such services are responding, and it analyzes the degree to which digital media is changing views and expectations related to death. Ultimately, the contributors seek to answer an even more important question: how digital existences affect both real-world perceptions of life's end and the way in which lives are actually lived.

Features

  • Explains how new technologies and online accessibility are changing human attitudes to death and dying—and impacting the ways in which people live
  • Explores the afterlife experience as it can play out in a variety of digital media, including Facebook and other social media, World of Warcraft and video games, YouTube and other video services, and Internet memorials
  • Analyzes the myriad ways encounters with death and dying and the capacity for mourning are mediated by new technologies
  • Places death and dying in the digital age in historical perspective, showing how beliefs about and approaches to death and dying have changed constantly over time
Author Info

Christopher M. Moreman, PhD, is associate professor in philosophy at California State University, East Bay, with expertise in comparative religion, death and dying, and religious and paranormal experience. His published works include Praeger's The Spiritualist Movement: Speaking with the Dead in America and around the World; Beyond the Threshold: Afterlife Beliefs and Experiences in World Religions; Zombies Are Us: Essays on the Humanity of the Walking Dead; Race, Oppression and the Zombie: Essays on Cross-Cultural Appropriations of the Caribbean Tradition; and Teaching Death and Dying. He holds a doctorate in religious studies.

A. David Lewis, PhD, is adjunct assistant professor at several colleges across the greater Boston area and is a steering committee member of the America Academy of Religion's Death, Dying, and Beyond program unit. His publications include the graphic novels Some New Kind of Slaughter, Or Lost in the Flood (And How We Found Home Again): Diluvian Myths from Around the World and The Lone and Level Sands. His scholarly work can be found in Graven Images: Religion in Comic Books and Graphic Novels and The End Will Be Graphic: Apocalyptic in Comic Books and Graphic Novels. Lewis holds a doctorate specializing in religion and literature from Boston University.

Reviews/Endorsements

Reviews

"Recommended. All levels/libraries."Choice

"This book certainly has the potential to stimulate fascinating interdisciplinary exchanges. This reviewer is hopeful that academics, researchers, clinicians, and educators will find ways to develop creative partnerships as a result of these discussions."Omega Journal of Dying and Death

Awards

Ray & Pat Browne Award for Best Edited Collection in Pop & American Culture — Pop Culture Association/American Culture Association

Look Inside

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