Our Changing Journey to the End
Reshaping Death, Dying, and Grief in America
by Christina Staudt, PhD, and J. Harold Ellens, PhD, Editors
November 2013, 676pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
2 volumes, Praeger

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-2845-4
$172, £133, 150€, A236
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-2846-1
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

Life isn’t what it used to be—and neither is death.

This novel, cross-disciplinary collection explains how dying, death, and grieving have changed in America, for better or worse, since the turn of the millennium.

What does dying with dignity mean in a diverse society with rapidly advancing technology, an aging population, and finite resources? In this fascinating collection, scholars from across the nation illuminate the remarkable changes that have taken place in recent years, are now underway, and loom on the horizon as they lead readers on an exploration of the ways Americans think about and handle dying and death. Volume 1, New Paths of Engagement, addresses changes in the circumstances and expressions of death, dying, and grief in 21st-century America. Volume 2, New Venues in the Search for Dignity and Grace, delves into the challenges inherent in creating a medical and social system that allows for an optimal end-of-life experience for all and proposes ways in which society can be reshaped to move toward that ideal.


  • Shows how high health care costs; concern for the environment; and a diverse, aging population necessitate rethinking the care of those who are at the end of life
  • Discusses controversial topics such as extending life versus quality of life and the politics and laws governing assisted suicide and integrating our final resting place into the urban landscape
  • Addresses the effects of the Internet and social media on customs surrounding dying and mourning
  • Includes cross-disciplinary insights from fields as diverse as psychology, religion, medicine, law, and popular culture
Christina Staudt, PhD, is chair of the Columbia University Seminar on Death, an interdisciplinary seminar focused on all aspects of death, dying, disposal, and grief. Her recent works include The Many Ways We Talk About Death in Contemporary Society and Unequal Before Death. Staudt holds a doctorate in art history from Columbia University. Her dissertation thesis was entitled Picturing the Dead and Dying in Nineteenth Century "L'Illustration".

J. Harold Ellens, PhD, is a research scholar at the Department of Near Eastern Studies, University of Michigan; executive director emeritus of the Christian Association for Psychological Studies; founding editor and editor in chief emeritus of the Journal of Psychology and Christianity, and professor of philosophy and religion (ret). He is the author or editor of 230 books, many of them for ABC-CLIO, and 175 professional journal articles.


2014 Outstanding Academic Title—Choice, January 1, 2015


"These volumes covering the twists and turns of dying in 2013 are informative for the terminally ill themselves, their loved ones, and health care providers. One cannot read them and walk away thinking the same way about the contemporary dying experience. . . . Highly recommended."—Choice, August 1, 2014
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