The comprehension of death and afterlife in children

Authored by: Ramiro Tau

The Routledge Handbook of Death and the Afterlife

Print publication date:  June  2018
Online publication date:  June  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138682160
eBook ISBN: 9781315545349
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter presents a discussion about the problem of considering death as an object to be known. Based on research carried out with Argentinian children between the ages of 5 and 10 years old, we present some conclusions regarding the development of children’s understanding of human death. In particular, we address the question of the temporality that death supposes, the distinction of the entities that can die for the child, and the space in which the latter occur. From these problems, we point out the polyphasic character of understanding death. In this sense, we state that knowledge about death is not limited or reduced to the development of biological knowledge, but refers to a zone of multiple objects, belonging to knowledge systems of various kinds.

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