How continuing bonds have been framed across millennia

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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.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationContinuing Bonds in Bereavement
Subtitle of host publicationNew Directions for Research and Practice
EditorsD. Klass, E. M. Steffen
Place of PublicationLondon, U. K.
ISBN (Electronic)9781315202396
ISBN (Print)9780415356206
Publication statusPublished - 2018


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