thanatology \than-uh-TAH-luh-jee\ noun: the description or study of the phenomena of death and of psychological mechanisms for copingwith them
One of the seminal texts on thanatology is Elisabeth Kübler-Ross‘s On Death and Dying, whichoutlines the five stages of grief.
“In her eight-week yoga for griefcourse, Stang … uses her background in thanatology—the scientific study of death, dying and bereavement—to educateparticipants about death and normalize their experiences.” — Anna Medaris Miller, U.S. News & World Report, January 7, 2015
Did you know?
In Greek mythology, Thanatos was the personification of death and the twin brother of Hypnos (Sleep). The ancient Greeks eventually came to use thanatos as a generic word for “death.” Thanatology is a directlinguistic heir of the Greek term and was first documented in English in the mid-1800s. As a science, thanatology examines attitudestoward death, the meaning and behaviors of bereavement and grief, and other matters. In 1935, the wordthanatos itself made its debut in English, ushered in withpsychoanalytic theory to describe an unconscious tendency toward self-destruction.