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What is Open Thanatology?

Updated Tuesday, 8th February 2022

Find out about Open Thanatology, The Open University’s interdisciplinary research group for the study and education of death, dying, loss and grief.

Open Thanatology logo

The word thanatology is derived from the Greek word ‘thanatos’ which means death. Broadly speaking, thanatology is the study of death and the events around it from different perspectives. This includes studies about the physical, ethical, medical, spiritual, sociological and psychological elements of death as well as interdisciplinary studies about how dying and death are managed and how people grieve, including the use of rituals.

Open Thanatology is the Open University’s interdisciplinary research group for the study and education of death, dying, loss and grief across the life course. Formally renamed in 2020, the group builds on the long-standing death and dying research group at the university with a renewed energy to promote these fields of research and education. This OpenLearn page provides examples of the education we have created based on our research and flag-ship modules here at the Open University, as well as our collaborations with other academics, professional organisations, and charities.

 

 

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