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Believer Perspectives on Death and Funeral Practices in a Non-believing Country

[journal article]

Nesporova, Olga

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Abstract The article describes attitudes towards death and funeral rites in contemporary Czech society. It begins by revealing the attitudes to death held by the majority of the Czech population - non-believers. The customary secular funeral ceremony, held in a crematorium, is not entirely well suited to meeting the needs of the bereaved, and this is borne out by the fact that about one-third of all cremations are held without a funeral ceremony. The author argues that the current situation is not solely the result of the economic situation of individuals but also stems from the deeply rooted attitudes and values and the approach to religion of the Czech population. The second part of the article is devoted to the attitudes towards death and the funeral rite preferences of believers, based on a survey conducted with members of three religious groups: Roman Catholics, Protestants (Church of the Czech Brethren), and Jehovah's Witnesses. Finally, the author compares the attitudes of the secular majority and believers, and also outlines the connections between conditions today and under the former communist regime regarding the general approach to death and funeral rites.
Classification Sociology of Religion
Free Keywords Death Attitudes; Funerals; Religious Beliefs; Czech Republic
Document language English
Publication Year 2007
Page/Pages p. 1175-1193
Journal Sociologický časopis / Czech Sociological Review, 43 (2007) 6
Status Published Version; reviewed
Licence Deposit Licence - No Redistribution, No Modifications