Understandings of death and dying for people of Chinese origin

Death Stud. 2009 Feb;33(2):153-74. doi: 10.1080/07481180802440431.


This article introduces the primary beliefs about ancestor worship, Taoism, Confucianism, Buddhism and traditional Chinese medicine that have influenced Chinese people for thousands of years, particularly in relation to death and dying. These cultures and traditions remain important for Chinese people wherever they live. Over a long period, Chinese people have integrated these philosophies and religions to form the basis of their culture and traditions. Although they agree that death is a natural part of the life span, a unique belief about death and dying has emerged among the Chinese from this integration. From this, the people find a significant definition of death and dying.

MeSH terms

  • Asian Americans / psychology*
  • Asians / psychology*
  • Attitude to Death* / ethnology
  • Buddhism / psychology
  • China / ethnology
  • Confucianism / psychology
  • Cultural Characteristics*
  • Culture
  • Death
  • Humans
  • Intergenerational Relations
  • Medicine, Chinese Traditional
  • Religion and Psychology
  • Religious Philosophies
  • Taiwan / ethnology
  • United States