“Death: A Reader” Named U.S. Catholic Book Club Selection

Author: Kathryn Pitts

Death: A ReaderDeath: A Reader

Many of us have been struggling to process the mounting casualties announced on the daily news feed during the coronavirus pandemic. Some of us are even dealing with the death of a loved one. In Death: A Reader, chosen by the U.S. Catholic Book Club as their March selection, Mary Ann G. Cutter presents a series of readings that show us how we can talk about death and understand how to come to terms with it.  

According to U.S. Catholic, “Death: A Reader . . . attempts to solve this dilemma by exploring 13 themes regarding the nature of death, including physical disintegration, resurrection, the value of death, grieving, and physician-assisted suicide.” The magazine continues to explain that for each theme, Cutter lays out perspectives from a variety of time periods and religious and ethical traditions to help readers gain a vocabulary for talking about the theme in their own life. These writings are then paired with discussion questions to foster conversation about end-of-life issues.

Emily Sanna, managing editor of U.S. Catholic, says, “This book is an important read for anyone seeking a way to come to terms with or talk about death—in other words, for everyone.”

Death: A Reader has been widely reviewed, including a piece in the Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine, which says, "Death affects everyone, but it can be difficult to have a conversation about it. Death: A Reader is a way to begin that conversation, even if just with yourself. The book’s goal is to compile different ideas about death, and allow the reader to draw their own conclusions." Catholic Library World says, "Death is an event that all human beings face in their lives, both vicariously in the deaths of other persons and personally in their own death. . . . Death: A Reader offers a good, culturally and philosophically balanced first point of entry to exploring various philosophical and religious perspectives on death." Mark J. Cherry, author of Kidney for Sale by Owner, says, "I know of no other anthology of this type. . . . Death is something that all will face. Preparation is important."

Mary Ann G. Cutter is professor of philosophy at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs. She is the author and co-author of a number of books, including Thinking through Breast Cancer:  A Philosophical Exploration of Diagnosis, Treatment, and Survival.

To read along with this month’s U.S. Catholic Book Club selection, you can purchase your copy of Death: A Reader here, or wherever books are sold.

For more information, contact: Kathryn Pitts, pitts.5@nd.edu, 574.210.6155