The Deritualization of Death: Toward a Practical Theology of Caregiving for the Bereaved

Universal-Publishers
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The problematic field of investigation for this study was for the care of bereaved human beings in the context of significant cultural shifts now shaping the twenty-first century. Deritualization was identified as a significant interdisciplinary concern that contributes to potential distress in processes of grieving. The objective of the research was the development of a practical theology of compassionate caregiving for the bereaved with deference to the problem of deritualization. The theoretical framework was guided by the Oxford Interdisciplinary Research model and the Loyola Institute of Ministries model of practical theology. The study was designed for applied research for funeral directors and vocational pastors utilizing qualitative research methods. Hermeneutical and empirical components addressed six research questions through two domains of inquiry: disciplinary perspectives and educational dynamics of bereavement caregiving. Using the method of hermeneutics to critically evaluate the first two research questions, three disciplinary fields of knowledge were examined and integrated from the perspective of pastoral care: funeral service, bereavement psychology, and practical theology. Each discipline individually converged upon meaningful caregiving, meaning-reconstruction, and meaning-reframing as significant modes of bereavement care. Using ethnographic semi-structured interviews to critically evaluate the remaining four research questions, data were collected from a Christian university and a mortuary college. The interview questionnaire included twenty-five main questions organized in four parts: Philosophy of Education, Hermeneutics of Bereaved Families, Care of Bereaved Families, and Encounter of Bereaved Families. The study utilized two cycles of qualitative coding techniques to report the findings of each participating school. A hybrid form of in vivo and holistic coding as well as a second cycle of pattern coding distilled the interview responses into actionable statements that reinforced bereavement caregiving. By synthesizing all of the findings, a compelling case was made for a paradigm of comforting presence supported by principles from a Louwian perspective of practical theology, including theological anthropology, promissiotherapy, bipolarity, and hermeneutics. The study connected a philosophy of meaning-reframing and a paradigm of comforting presence to a meta-theoretical framework within a narrative approach to care. The research elucidated an interdisciplinary understanding that contributed toward a compassionate practical theology of caregiving for the bereaved.
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The problematic field of investigation for this study was for the care of bereaved human beings in the context of significant cultural shifts now shaping the twenty-first century. Deritualization was identified as a significant interdisciplinary concern that contributes to potential distress in processes of grieving. The objective of the research was the development of a practical theology of compassionate caregiving for the bereaved with deference to the problem of deritualization. The theoretical framework was guided by the Oxford Interdisciplinary Research model and the Loyola Institute of Ministries model of practical theology. The study was designed for applied research for funeral directors and vocational pastors utilizing qualitative research methods. Hermeneutical and empirical components addressed six research questions through two domains of inquiry: disciplinary perspectives and educational dynamics of bereavement caregiving. Using the method of hermeneutics to critically evaluate the first two research questions, three disciplinary fields of knowledge were examined and integrated from the perspective of pastoral care: funeral service, bereavement psychology, and practical theology. Each discipline individually converged upon meaningful caregiving, meaning-reconstruction, and meaning-reframing as significant modes of bereavement care. Using ethnographic semi-structured interviews to critically evaluate the remaining four research questions, data were collected from a Christian university and a mortuary college. The interview questionnaire included twenty-five main questions organized in four parts: Philosophy of Education, Hermeneutics of Bereaved Families, Care of Bereaved Families, and Encounter of Bereaved Families. The study utilized two cycles of qualitative coding techniques to report the findings of each participating school. A hybrid form of in vivo and holistic coding as well as a second cycle of pattern coding distilled the interview responses into actionable statements that reinforced bereavement caregiving. By synthesizing all of the findings, a compelling case was made for a paradigm of comforting presence supported by principles from a Louwian perspective of practical theology, including theological anthropology, promissiotherapy, bipolarity, and hermeneutics. The study connected a philosophy of meaning-reframing and a paradigm of comforting presence to a meta-theoretical framework within a narrative approach to care. The research elucidated an interdisciplinary understanding that contributed toward a compassionate practical theology of caregiving for the bereaved.

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Publisher
Universal-Publishers
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Published on
Oct 15, 2019
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Pages
420
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ISBN
9781612334714
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Language
English
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Genres
Social Science / Anthropology / Cultural & Social
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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The study investigated the failure to integrate faith in daily work--a multifaceted problem important for interdisciplinary studies in religion and society. The Purpose in Life (PIL) test and the Engagement in Meaningful Work Scale (EMWS) were used to research how religious faith impacted work perceptions of mortuary college students. Students from Gupton-Jones College of Funeral Service in Atlanta, Georgia and John A. Gupton College in Nashville, Tennessee were chosen as the respondents. The following research question was examined: What were the effects of religiosity on mortuary college student perceptions of purpose in life and the engagement in meaningful work? The study identified four facets of religiosity for observation: (1) belief, (2) attitude, (3) practice, and (4) group experience. The primary research objectives examined the variables of denominational preference, Christian affirmation, favorability toward the institutional church, active church membership, the number of religious disciplines practiced, and involvement in church activities. Secondary objectives of the study examined the demographics of age, gender, educational attainment, and experience in funeral service work. Two hypotheses with ten corollaries for each hypothesis were tested-- eight with a Kruskal-Wallis procedure, ten with a Mann-Whitney U procedure, and two with a Spearman's Rank Correlation procedure. Six independent variables demonstrated a significant relationship with PIL values--funeral service experience, denominational preference, Christian affirmation, active church membership, the number of religious disciplines practiced, and the involvement in church activities. Six variables demonstrated a significant or practically significant relationship with EMWS values--funeral service experience, denominational preference, favorability toward the institutional church, active church membership, the number of religious disciplines practiced, and the involvement in church activities. Conclusions drawn from the findings of the study had important implications for the fields of religion, psychology, business administration, and funeral service.
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When three-month-old Lia Lee Arrived at the county hospital emergency room in Merced, California, a chain of events was set in motion from which neither she nor her parents nor her doctors would ever recover. Lia's parents, Foua and Nao Kao, were part of a large Hmong community in Merced, refugees from the CIA-run "Quiet War" in Laos. The Hmong, traditionally a close-knit and fiercely people, have been less amenable to assimilation than most immigrants, adhering steadfastly to the rituals and beliefs of their ancestors. Lia's pediatricians, Neil Ernst and his wife, Peggy Philip, cleaved just as strongly to another tradition: that of Western medicine. When Lia Lee Entered the American medical system, diagnosed as an epileptic, her story became a tragic case history of cultural miscommunication.

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