Abstract

The visual arts of the Tiwi Aborigines from Bathurst and Melville Islands, Australia, have their origin in mortuary rituals that entail a re-enactment of creation myths. In mortuary ritual a script—inherited from the mythological ancestor Purakupali, who introduced death into Tiwi society and had the death rites performed for the first time—has to be followed, but the participants link the conventional ritual events with their own stories and personal experiences put in metaphorical language and action. The requirement that Tiwi singers compose entirely new songs for every occasion, and that the makers of carved and painted mortuary posts produce unique works, has its impact on how creation myths interact in narratives and in the visual arts. Their interrelatedness can be studied in a more systematic way in the performative arts by taking the actors' current social and political concerns into account.

In: Religion and the Arts

Abstract

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 (unaffiliated, Catholic, and Protestant) in relation to meaning making. Parts of a nationwide survey study (n = 1212) are analyzed in order to investigate different forms of meaning making (Christian meaning, personal meaning, and denial of meaning). 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.

In: Archive for the Psychology of Religion

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