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From soul to postself: Home memorials in the Netherlands

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While house shrines seemed to have virtually disappeared from Roman Catholic homes in the Netherlands, a representative national survey conducted in 2005 showed that they had re-emerged in a different form and become a more widespread phenomenon among the Dutch population. Irrespective of religious denomination, or even despite having no religious affiliation at all, about a third of the respondents stated that they had a memorial place in their home. A 2007 questionnaire revealed that new types of house shrine can be seen as a material representation of the identity of deceased relatives. We argue that, in many cases, survivors maintain these home memorials to preserve the deceased's postself rather than because they are concerned for the fate of the soul.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Centre for Thanatology, Radboud University Nijmegen, The Netherlands

Publication date: May 1, 2009

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