Navigation Links
Humanist funerals
Date:5/16/2012

Funeral directors need to be aware of the needs of non-religious people. A unique investigation into the subject funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) provides a snapshot of a defining aspect of life - or indeed death.

"The issue of death is one of the most important incidents that all societies deal with," says Dr Matthew Engelke, at the London School of Economics. "I wanted to look at how, in contemporary society, people who do not believe in an afterlife are commemorated at a funeral."

To carry out the research, Dr Engelke focused on funerals provided by the British Humanist Association (BHA). "It was clear that the people who chose these funeral services were not necessarily humanists or atheists. They generally described themselves as 'non-religious', which covered the entire spectrum from absolute atheist to a more general lack of commitment or belief, especially when it comes to organised religion."

One of the most striking aspects of BHA funeral ceremonies is that they strive to be true to the individual, to reflect as best as possible the character, world views and the sensibilities of the person who has died. "The focus is almost exclusively on the person, which is often not the case with the more traditional religious ceremonies" says Dr Engelke.

This emphasis on the individual is an increasingly important phenomenon in modern Western life, suggests Dr Engelke. In many societies, and in ritual ceremonies down the ages, the place of the individual in the ritual is often the least important consideration.

In humanist ceremonies, being true to the individual is most central. Dr Engelke commonly came across family members and friends who said: "We told the funeral director John did not go to church so we did not want a vicar to take the funeral".

"This gives an intriguing glimpse into the extent to which modern citizens feel it important to express their uniqueness and individuality", says Dr Engelke.

"It is important for social scientists to look at these key moments in life, as it is through these that we get a sense of the most significant issues that matter to people and understand what it means to be non-religious in a modern British society," continues Dr Engelke. "And I think one of the best places to start is ritual services such as funerals."


'/>"/>

Contact: Press Office
Pressoffice@esrc.ac.uk
Economic & Social Research Council
Source:Eurekalert

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/28/2017)... Church, VA (PRWEB) , ... June 28, 2017 , ... ... http://www.fdanews.com/fdaeumdregs      , No matter on which side of the Atlantic devicemakers ... medical device regulations they have to follow. , In addition to the full text ...
(Date:6/28/2017)... IL (PRWEB) , ... June 28, 2017 , ... David B. Sosin, a ... Park, Illinois, took over the post of 2nd Vice President for the Illinois State ... was installed as the ISBA’s 3rd Vice President in 2016 following a state-wide election and ...
(Date:6/28/2017)... ... June 28, 2017 , ... Canadian Zeolite Corp. ... a two year study conducted by the University of Saskatchewan in partnership with ... remediating potash brine-impacted groundwater. As a part of the study, batch adsorption experiments ...
(Date:6/28/2017)... , ... June 28, 2017 , ... ... firm servicing communities throughout the greater Cincinnati metropolitan area, is teaming up with ... lodgings for families with children receiving treatment in nearby hospitals. , Ronald McDonald ...
(Date:6/27/2017)... ... ... Harbour , a DAO (decentralized autonomous organization) that harnesses the wisdom ... technical specifications . , 2017 has seen an explosion of token launches by ... offerings will garner the greatest ROI. Dean Eigenmann, Co-founder and CEO of Harbour, said, ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/13/2017)... Ind. , June 13, 2017 Zimmer Biomet ... musculoskeletal healthcare, today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug ... dated June 3, 2015 relating to its Zhejiang, ... "The successful clearance of the ... manufacturing facility is a measure of the progress ...
(Date:6/10/2017)... Burchfield, DPM, is recognized by Continental Who,s Who as a Pinnacle ... Alabama . Dr. Burchfield serves as a ... 20 years of experience, as well as expertise in the areas ... "The podiatry professional   ... welcome you to his practice," the company,s website states. "We want ...
(Date:6/8/2017)... Fla. , June 8, 2017  Less than ... that hit more than 200,000 companies, including hospital networks, ... being heralded as one of the largest online extortion ... in the healthcare market, it is imperative that providers ... protect their data from this — and many other ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: