The Crossroads of Plastination and Pilgrimage
AbstractAt the Singapore Science Centre in 2010, I went to Body Worlds, an exhibit set up by the Institute for Plastination, founded by Gunther von Hagens. As I later learned, he pioneered plastination—the art, science, and technique of preserving entire bodies and body parts for use in medical and anatomical research, exhibition, or both. A few months after, I made the decision to donate my body after death to the Institute under arrangements similar to that of a Living Will. In my visits to two other Body World exhibits in Germany and the Netherlands, I have seen organs perfectly preserved and had thoughts occur to me that one day, I may well be an exhibit specimen instead of an exhibit attendee. By establishing a connection with existing pilgrimage literature; and using a combination of thick description and pragmatic analyses; this paper puts forward the proposition that visits to these; and other similar; exhibits constitute a pilgrimage of and to the self. The paper also discusses the ethics and practical consequences of body donation; and evaluates the arguments for and against the body donation decision from the lenses of the person making the donation; the person’s significant others; and societal influencers. The paper concludes by suggesting take-off points in discussing the connection between plastination and pilgrimage; particularly in the contexts of intercultural communication and religious studies. View Full-Text
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Co SY SU, C. The Crossroads of Plastination and Pilgrimage. Religions 2018, 9, 87.
Co SY SU C. The Crossroads of Plastination and Pilgrimage. Religions. 2018; 9(3):87.Chicago/Turabian Style
Co SY SU, Chadwick. 2018. "The Crossroads of Plastination and Pilgrimage." Religions 9, no. 3: 87.
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