Special Issue "The Public Face of Death: Mapping the Social Impact of Religious Beliefs"

A special issue of Religions (ISSN 2077-1444).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 May 2017)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Angela Sumegi

College of the Humanities: Religion, Carleton University, 1125 Colonel By Dr, Ottawa, ON K1S 5B6, Canada
Website | E-Mail
Phone: 613-520-2600 x 2107
Interests: buddhism; shamanism; tibetan buddhism; comparative religions; death; afterlife; religious identity; soul theories

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue of Religions takes a comparative look at the public face of death and the afterlife.

For many people, apart from state ceremonies or the public mourning of popular celebrities, the rituals surrounding death and beliefs about life after death belong to the private sphere of home, family and dear friends. However, it can be seen that beliefs, rituals, mourning and memorialization do indeed have an impact on the world beyond the home. How might such interactions help us to understand the relationship between religion and public life? What bearing do beliefs concerning the afterlife have on the broader society? We invite papers, written from either historical or contemporary perspectives, that explore the many dimensions of the ways in which religious approaches to death and the afterlife intersect with the social and communal life of people.

Dr. Angela Sumegi
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Religions is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charges (APCs) of 550 CHF (Swiss Francs) per published paper are fully funded by institutions through the Knowledge Unlatched initiative, resulting in no direct charge to authors. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • death
  • afterlife
  • funeral
  • mourning
  • religion and public life
  • comparative religion
  • ritual

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle Sikh Self-Sacrifice and Religious Representation during World War I
Religions 2018, 9(2), 55; doi:10.3390/rel9020055
Received: 5 January 2018 / Revised: 6 February 2018 / Accepted: 8 February 2018 / Published: 10 February 2018
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Abstract
This paper analyzes the ways Sikh constructions of sacrifice were created and employed to engender social change in the early twentieth century. Through an examination of letters written by Sikh soldiers serving in the British Indian Army during World War I and contemporary
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This paper analyzes the ways Sikh constructions of sacrifice were created and employed to engender social change in the early twentieth century. Through an examination of letters written by Sikh soldiers serving in the British Indian Army during World War I and contemporary documents from within their global religious, legislative, and economic context, I argue that Sikhs mobilized conceptions of self-sacrifice in two distinct directions, both aiming at procuring greater political recognition and representation. Sikhs living outside the Indian subcontinent encouraged their fellows to rise up and throw off their colonial oppressors by recalling mythic moments of the past and highlighting the plight of colonial subjects of the British Raj. Receiving less discussion are Punjabi Sikhs who fought in British forces during the Great War and who spoke of their potential sacrifice as divinely sanctioned in service to a benevolent state. Both sides utilized religious symbolism in the hope that Sikhs would again enjoy a level of self-rule that had been lost with the arrival of the British Empire. Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Buying an Afterlife: Mapping the Social Impact of Religious Beliefs through Consumer Death Goods
Religions 2017, 8(9), 167; doi:10.3390/rel8090167
Received: 31 May 2017 / Revised: 4 August 2017 / Accepted: 8 August 2017 / Published: 28 August 2017
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Abstract
Choosing to have a body embalmed, the choice of interment locations and type, including the selection of a particular casket, are all deeply intertwined with various understandings of the afterlife, and views of the body after death. Consumer choices in these cases are
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Choosing to have a body embalmed, the choice of interment locations and type, including the selection of a particular casket, are all deeply intertwined with various understandings of the afterlife, and views of the body after death. Consumer choices in these cases are often determined by imagined embodiment, and are determined in part by non-rational consumer choices based on religious upbringing and belief. In turn, diasporic and religious identity can be reinforced and solidified through consumer choices that then fulfill religious imaginations of post-death embodiment. This article traces the relationship of two consumer death goods—embalming and caskets—in the contemporary United States, examining both the implicit and explicit relationships these products have with religious worldviews, mapping the social impact of religious beliefs on consumer death choices. Full article
Open AccessArticle Revolution in the Afterlife
Religions 2017, 8(8), 146; doi:10.3390/rel8080146
Received: 3 July 2017 / Revised: 3 August 2017 / Accepted: 4 August 2017 / Published: 9 August 2017
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Abstract
The idea of an afterlife is formative of modern social scientific enquiry into the normative fabrics of human sociality. The idea also indicates how societies come to terms with their destructive past. Focusing on the legacies of the Vietnam War, this essay explores
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The idea of an afterlife is formative of modern social scientific enquiry into the normative fabrics of human sociality. The idea also indicates how societies come to terms with their destructive past. Focusing on the legacies of the Vietnam War, this essay explores how the historical experience of generalized loss and displacement can radically change the traditional conception of an afterlife. Full article
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