Re-imagining the Feast: ritual commensality and funerary experience

Hearn, Clare (2021) Re-imagining the Feast: ritual commensality and funerary experience. In: The 15th Annual Conference on the Social Context of Death, Dying and Disposal: Diversity and Decolonisation, 1st - 4th September 2021, Manchester Met University.

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Abstract / Summary

My paper details my research into the design and performance of funerary practices, with a focus on the reimagining of feasting in increasingly secularised and spiritual but not religious (SBNR) societies.

Recent studies note the increasing trend for ‘deadly individualisation’ pervading the funeral, with the communal rituals of religious practice replaced by personally tailored experiences.

I propose that whilst these communal rituals often bear little or no meaning to the deceased or to those left behind, and indeed have the capacity to leave us further bereft, without them, we have lost essential loci in which to collectively experience loss.

Using a critical event studies lens, which sees the events of death and funerary practice as social rupture, I suggest that feasts, a form of ritual commensality, can be reimagined to once again form part of ‘what must be done’ to support the communal restoration of social fabric rent by loss.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: Business
Philosophy & Psychology
Courses by Department: Business School > Business Entrepreneurship
Depositing User: Clare Hearn
Date Deposited: 08 Oct 2021 11:45
Last Modified: 11 Nov 2022 16:20


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