The Sacred Remains: American Attitudes Toward Death, by Gary Laderman

By Gary Laderman

This paintings explores the altering attitudes towards loss of life and the lifeless in northern Protestant groups in the course of the nineteenth century. It deals insights into the development of an "American manner of death", illuminating the imperative function of the Civil warfare and tracing the start of the funeral undefined.

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In addition, the following individuals read over all or part of this work and offered constructive suggestions about both form and content: John Gillis, Thomas Laqueur, Edward Linenthal, James McPherson, Maris Vinovskis, and Michel Vovelle. Finally, I would like to thank Charles Grench, Dan Heaton, and the other editors at Yale University Press for their interest in my work and their assistance in producing this book. Page 1 INTRODUCTION What should be done with the dead body? Who is best qualified to prepare the corpse for its final disposition?

Spokespersons for specific Protestant denominations frequently address these questions with language unhindered by philosophical ambiguity and multivalent symbolism. For many the body is inconsequential to the spirit's future prospects. For example, in Major Methodist Beliefs, Bishop Mack B.  . "14 But the Methodist Service of Death and Resurrection, acknowledges that the material, decom- Page 5 posing or cremated body will no longer be of use at the time of the individual's resurrection. When the body is disposed of the mourners are reminded that it "has been valued and loved.

A. The body was opened and the entrails taken out. Q. What was done with the entrails? A. They were buried in said Suggin's shop, which had no floor. Q. What knowledge do you have of any operations which was [sic] performed on the dead body afterwards? A. The operation of dissection was begun the next night following, which was continued for several nights until completed. Q. Do you know what became of the flesh which was taken from that corpse, or the contents of the breast? A. 15 Page 20 Later, another doctor testified that the bones of the suicide were kept by a Dr.

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