In recent years there has been a massive upsurge in academic, professional and lay interest in mortality. This is reflected in academic and professional literature, in the popular media and in the proliferation of professional roles and training courses associated with aspects of death and dying. Until now the majority of reference material on death and dying has been designed for particular disciplinary audiences and has addressed only specific academic or professional concerns. There has been an urgent need for an authoritative but accessible reference work reflecting the multidisciplinary nature of the field. This Encyclopedia answers that need. The Encyclopedia of Death and Dying consolidates and contextualizes the disparate research that has been carried out to date. The phenomena of death and dying and its related concepts are explored and explained in depth, from the approaches of varied disciplines and related professions in the arts, social sciences, humanities, medicine and the sciences. In addition to scholars and students in the field-from anthropologists and sociologists to art and social historians - the Encyclopedia will be of interest to other professionals and practitioners whose work brings them into contact with dying, dead and bereaved people. It will be welcomed as the definitive death and dying reference source, and an essential tool for teaching, research and independent study.