Birth and Death: Studying Ritual, Embodied Practices and Spirituality at the Start and End of Life

Edited by
September 2022
158 pages
  • ISBN978-3-0365-5415-0 (Hardback)
  • ISBN978-3-0365-5416-7 (PDF)

This book is a reprint of the Special Issue Birth and Death: Studying Ritual, Embodied Practices and Spirituality at the Start and End of Life that was published in

Social Sciences, Arts & Humanities

Birth and death are both profound life transitions, revealing deeply existential, social, and spiritual questions in addition to various forms of ritual and ritualizing. While birth and death are often seen as opposites, this edited volume shows that the start and end of life share many ambiguities. They represent a beginning and an end, and lead to ritualizing as well as embodied forms of spirituality. Throughout the book, the authors discuss theoretical and empirical perspectives on rituals at birth and death from multidisciplinary perspectives, such as religious studies, anthropology, philosophy, and sociology. By doing so, they shed light on new forms of ritualizing, as well as on traditional rituals.

  • Hardback
© 2022 by the authors; CC BY-NC-ND license
priest; Ars moriendi; sharing death; death teacher; African birth ritual; ancestor worship; art; birth; birth altar; birthing justice; ceremony; child; childbirth; Chinese birth ritual; contemporary art; humanism; indigenous birth ritual; material culture; mother; nonreligion; nonreligious; pregnancy; religion; re-sacralization; rite of passage; ritual; sacred; secular; secularity; spirituality; symbol; traditional birth; grief; bereavement; death; pregnancy loss; secular; embodiment; metaphor; rituals; pregnancy; birth; cultural practices; Africa; memory making; function of ritualized acts; ritualization; neonatal intensive care unit (NICU); new-born; death; bereaved parents; nurses; parent support group; existential; infrastructural breaks; sociology of repair; life-cycle rituals; funeral market; maternity care; tattoo; body-modification; rite of passage; embodiment; identity; self-construction; Dimasa; death rituals; urban; ritual performance; ritual; rite of passage; personhood; motherhood; pregnancy loss; miscarriage; stillbirth; abortion; ritualizing; abortion; qualitative research; The Netherlands; n/a