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The Impact of Secularization and Spiritualization on Death Meanings and Practices, Among Contemporary Romanians (2016-2017)

Field of study: Death Studies, Sociology of Death and Dying, Thanatology

With this study, I intend to focus on the challenges of secularization and spiritualization impacting the traditional ways in which most people approach death in contemporary Romania. As it has become all the more evident after Colectiv nightclub tragedy, Romanians’ religiosity can no longer be un-problematically linked to institutional religion. If the growing number of non-dogmatic experiences of the sacred and, consequently, the multiplication of personal death ways have long been an acknowledged reality in the Western world, Romania is still uncomfortably stuck in the interstice between two major death patterns (traditional and modern) both being perceived as menacing and unconvincing. This may have led to conflicting versions of “good death” that have created small, unstable comfort zones, and fast, unpredictable swings from meaningful to meaningless versions of dying.

Keywords: death studies, sociology of death, religious studies, secularization, spirituality, personal death ways, post-communism

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