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De sørgende og begravelsesriten: en religionspsykologisk studie
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Theology, Department of Theology.
1998 (Norwegian)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
Mourners and the burial rite : a religio-psychological study (English)
Abstract [en]

The dissertation addresses the importance of the funeral week for bereaved people and the role of their religiousness in this context.

The empirical investigation is based on a Norwegian sample of 70 bereaved persons and shows that participation in activities and ceremonies of leave-taking during the burial week (called "mourning conduct") was of great importance as a time to mourn. Four aspects of grief are studied: sadness, depression, anxiety, and loss-related experiences. Little grieving conduct during the burial week was associated with a more intense and long-lasting grief process, in particular anxiety and loss-related experiences.

Religious activities, belief, and experience played a part in how the bereaved person went through the burial rite as well as through the following grief process. During the first year of bereavement many took part in symbolic activities, such as participation in religious services or candle-lighting in the church-yard. Contradictory movements are revealed between symbolic activities inside and outside the church-house; those who did not go to church lit candles in the church-yard more often.

The theoretical discussion employs psychoanalytic theories of creativity in order to expand the traditional reactive approach to mourning. The re-creative approach is found more suitable for developing a conception of grief that is more existential, which seems to help to understand grief in relation to religious rituals and the importance of the burial rite. The grief process is discussed in relation to the continuous experience of recreation, namely the nature cycles (i.e., day and night, year). This approach points toward strong theoretical relations between the continuous and the acute experiences of loss and re-creation. The nature cycles are also among the main metaphors for bothgrief and religiousness.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis , 1998. , 206 p.
Psychologia et sociologia religionum, ISSN 0283-149X ; 14
Keyword [en]
Religion, Psychology of religion, grief, mourning, funeral, rite, rituals, symbols, metaphors, nature cycles, creativity, re-creation, regression in the service of the ego
Keyword [sv]
National Category
Religious Studies
Research subject
Psychology of Religion
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-150ISBN: 91-554-4161-0OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-150DiVA: diva2:161081
Public defence
1998-05-20, Dekansalen, Nathan Söderbloms plan 2, Uppsala universitet, Uppsala, 13:15
Available from: 1998-04-29 Created: 1998-04-29 Last updated: 2016-03-09Bibliographically approved

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