Coping With Death and Loss: Confucian Perspectives and the Use of Rituals

Submitted by James Miller on Sat, 12/29/2012 - 11:24
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TitleCoping With Death and Loss: Confucian Perspectives and the Use of Rituals
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsChen, B.
JournalPastoral Psychology
Pagination1037 - 1049
Date Published2012
PublisherSpringer US
ISBN Number0031-2789
KeywordsConfucianism, Death, Loss, Psychology of religion, Ritual, spirituality

All of us must personally face and experience death and loss. Death and loss are sad events in our lives. But people living in different cultures and religions all have their own methods of coping. Chinese Confucianism has its own system and has evolved a set of mourning and burial ceremonies which have common characteristics. These mourning and burial ceremonies emphasize filial piety and the use of rituals as effective methods of coping with death. These beliefs and practices have deep meaning for the psychology of religion. They provide comfort and stimulate people to reflect on and promote spirituality. Through these interactions between relatives and ritualized behavior, Chinese find effective methods of coping with death and loss in culture. The mourning and burial ceremonies of Confucianism give the participants a comprehensive religious experience and personality integration so that their spirituality can be cultivated.