Buried Bodies in an East London Cemetery: Re-visiting Taboo

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Abstract

This chapter focuses on home memorials for the dead in the Netherlands as examples of private spaces for remembrance practices. It discusses the meaning of private space in contemporary mourning rituals. The home memorial serves as a focusing lens for private remembrance rituals. A common place for remembrance after death is the cemetery. Visiting graves gives mourners both public and private spaces to remember the dead. The actual grave is the most private, followed by other graves and monuments in the cemetery that form a more anonymous background. The chapter argues that a private space at home is of great importance in the re-invention of individual remembrance rituals and continuing bonds with the deceased in the relatively secular society of the Netherlands. It also discusses two major explanations of the home memorials phenomenon: a religion-spiritual and a psychosocial explanation. The discussion is based on the results from two large-scale surveys conducted in the Netherlands in 2005 and 2007.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDeathscapes
Subtitle of host publicationSpaces for Death, Dying, Mourning and Remembrance
EditorsAvril Maddrell, James D. Sidaway
Place of PublicationAbingdon, U. K.
PublisherRoutledge
Pages57-74
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9781317154396
ISBN (Print)9780754679752
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

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