Meaning Making and Death in a Secular Society: A Dutch Survey Study

Archive for the Psychology of Religion 32 (3):363-373 (2010)
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This article focuses on the relation between death and religion in a secularized society. In the Netherlands, traditional religious membership has declined significantly together with traditional belief systems. This study investigates the relation between the experience of death and religious affiliation in relation to meaning making. Parts of a nationwide survey study are analyzed in order to investigate different forms of meaning making. The results show that the experience of the death of a loved one is related to personal meaning giving only for Protestant participants. Moreover, religiously unaffiliated, Catholics and Protestants differ significantly in different ways of meaning making. In the discussions the authors focus on the different effects of different religious groups in the context of secular society.



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The Varieties of Religious Experience.William James - 1903 - Philosophical Review 12 (1):62-67.
Magic, Science and Religion.Bronislaw Malinowski & Robert Redfield - 1949 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 10 (2):298-300.

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