Continuing bonds with the dead were first conceptualised in late 20c North America but have been detected in many cultures through history and even, arguably, in pre-history. Does this mean that CBs with the dead are universal, found if not among all individuals then recognisable in all cultures? Or are CBs a western concept that scholars have imposed onto their interpretation of other cultures? This paper identifies some frames within which CBs have been promoted and/or resisted, including: the dangerous dead, ancestors, monotheism, Buddhism, secular memory, and romantic love. Care cultures are contrasted with memory cultures. Frames allowing the deceased some kind of personal existence and thus a relationship with the living, are contrasted with frames allowing no such post-mortem existence; in this latter case, the dead exist through memory practices which allow a continuing bond but not a continuing relationship.
|Title of host publication||Continuing Bonds in Bereavement|
|Subtitle of host publication||New Directions for Research and Practice|
|Editors||D. Klass, E. M. Steffen|
|Place of Publication||London, U. K.|
|Publication status||Published - 2018|
Walter, J. (2018). How continuing bonds have been framed across millennia. In D. Klass, & E. M. Steffen (Eds.), Continuing Bonds in Bereavement: New Directions for Research and Practice  Routledge.