Tending the Dead

How has tending the dead ~ with a specific emphasis on corpse care ~ evolved from antiquity to modern times? What factors played a role in the industrialization of the care of corpses in the United States? How can we bring our best practices of compassion to the work of tending the dead?

This November/December, join Institute founder and director, Amy Wright Glenn, for this informative and insightful 12-hour online study.

Donation based tuition.
Open to all.


How do you care for a corpse?

How do we bring the best of holding space practices
to the work of tending the dead?

In December 2022, Institute founder Amy Wright Glenn supported the beloved friendship and family community that surrounded her sister Anna May Wright in crafting and caring for Anna’s body after her unexpected death at the age of 40. Part of this process involved family-centered direct cremation and participating with death workers in supporting, honoring, and saying goodbye to Anna’s body in a way that offered great care to her memory. You can learn more about this event which was featured in the December 2022 Institute webinar.

Anna May’s legacy continues to inspire Institute members and friends to reimagine what can be with regard to how we care for our dead. The Institute supports creative and heartfelt culture-shifting practices that embody the best of what it means to hold space for corpse care.

Tending the Dead
Mondays: November 6, 20 & December 4, 18
7-9pm EST

*One need not attend live as all sessions will be recorded.


Course topics include:

*Historical overview of corpse care beginning in Antiquity

*The industrialization of tending to the dead in the United States Civil War

*Reimagined and renewed practices of corpse care

*The role of death doulas

*Exploration of significance of corpse care for religious/spiritual communities

*This course will connect to an upcoming Institute interview with one of the co-authors of Corpse Care: The Rev. Cody J. Sanders, Ph.D.

All participants will need a copy of Corpse Care ~ Ethics for Tending the Dead co-written by Cody J. Sanders and Mikeal C. Parsons as this is central to our study.




Rev. Sanders is pastor to Old Cambridge Baptist Church in Harvard Square; the American Baptist Chaplain to Harvard University; and Advisor for LGBTQ+ Affairs in the Office of Religious, Spiritual, and Ethical Life at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is Affiliated Assistant Professor of Pastoral Theology & Chaplaincy Studies at Chicago Theological Seminary.




“Seeing the corpse as a part of the web of life can help end our destructive assault on that web.”
~ Billy Campbell, cofounder and codirector of Ramsey Creek Preserve