This work provides an up-to-date examination of the ways people face dying and bereavement. In this third edition previous chapters are throrughly revised, and new contributors expand areas that have changed significantly. Reflecting the field's complex interdisciplinary character, the chapters cover such diverse areas as psychology, nursing, medicine, AIDS, family studies, sociology, education, philosophy, law, religion, the humanities and political science, whilst highlighting thanatology's core psychological and therapeutic caregiving dimensions. First, the text offers broad examinations of death systems from the vantage points of various cultural, historical and disciplinary perspectives. The second section represents the core of the book, offering detailed surveys of the data of death, dying and bereavement as they relate to different phases of our encounter with death as an abstract possibility and concrete reality. Next are chapters addressing a cluster of death-related issues and challenges that confront us at both a societal and individual level - such as AIDS - and finally the volume closes with a few reflections on the complexity of contemporary thanatology, framing some issues and recommendations that deserve greater attention by scholars, researchers, policy makers and practitioners. Also included is a comprehensive resource bibliography on the topic. This text is intended to be of use as a resource for all those interested in reading about death studies, both professionals and students alike.