Cremated remains urns in the Netherlands

Dr Brenda Mathijssen

University of Groningen, Netherlands

My academic expertise concerns the human engagement with dying, death and bereavement in contemporary Europe. I have been trained in the study of religion, and have conducted empirical research into various death practices, beliefs and places, such as funerals, bereavement rituals and natural burial grounds. Religion and meaning-making are key themes in my research. Moreover, my expertise is in ritual studies. In addition to death rituals, I focus on rituals in health care and spiritual care. I currently work on a 4-year research project, ‘Dying to be Green’, investigating the emergence, practices and meanings of natural burial in the Netherlands, funded by the Dutch Research Council.

Madrell, A. & Mathijssen, B. (2022) ‘Situating the dead. The grave as material, symbolic and relational space’, in J.H. Kilde (ed.) Handbook for Religious Space, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 535-c32.P78.

Wojtkowiak, J. and Mathijssen, B. (2022) ‘Birth and death: studying ritual, embodied practices and spirituality at the start and end of life’, Religions, 13, 820.

Mathijssen, B. & Venhorst, C. (2019) Funerary Practices in the Netherlands, Bingley: Emerald Publishing.

Follow Brenda’s series De Podkist, which explores behind the scenes of the funeral industry, here.

Further publications

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