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Student
Title
Supervisor
Faculty
Educational Programme
Final Grade
Year of Graduation
Mariia Masagutova
Images of "Good" and "Bad" Death: Case of Imperial Saint-Petersburg
History
(Bachelor’s programme)
2019
The research is devoted to different images of death, which existed in social consciousness. My aim is to reveal the influence of internal processes of the state on the social consciousness, basing on the case of dynamics in perception of death in the capital of Russian Empire.

The research question is: “How did the perception of death change through time and which factors contributed to these changes?” In this research I reveal and describe different types of death, which were perceived differently in Russian society, explain the concepts of “good” and “bad” death, compare these images with their analogues in Western culture and reveal the dynamics of changes in attitude to death. The type of death was believed to affect person’s afterlife status. The cases of sudden deaths required official investigations, initiated by the Synodal Consistory up to the first few decades of the 19th century. Eventually, these investigations ceased and sudden deaths passed under control of police and forensics with no more spiritual context. Gradually, the boundaries between “good” and “bad” death in general began to blur and eventually had lost its significance by the beginning of the 20th century. These changes were especially noticeable on example of educated elites and city culture, as in peasant culture some of the images persisted for a longer time. Causes of changes are seen in the state-initiated processes of modernisation and secularisation, accompanied with European cultural influence.

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