Attitudes towards cremation in a society with fragmented religious market: mixed-method research in Ukraine

Tymofii Brik (tbrik@kse.org.ua)
Kyiv School of Economics (Ukraine)
Halyna Herasym (halyna.herasym@ucdconnect.ie)
University College Dublin (The Republic of Ireland)
Iryna Radiuk (Debryngo@gmail.com)
Ukrainian Catholic University (Ukraine)

Abstract

Scholarship has suggested that historical religious traditions of societies influence mass attitudes towards cremation. Nevertheless, this scholarship still has some gaps. While most studies address differences in the official position of the Catholic, Protestant, and Orthodox churches, similar studies of mass attitudes among different religious groups are scarce. We add to this literature by running a new mixed-method study collecting in-depth interviews and polling data among urban Ukrainians. Drawing on the literature review, we suggest that the Ukrainian Orthodox believers are not homogeneous. Their views of cremation depend on specific groups (Patriarchate).  Our interviews showed that it is not the beliefs about the afterlife that influence the attitudes towards cremation. Most of the participants were more likely to be reluctant to use the method of body disposal that they find to be unusual and unfamiliar. In line with our expectations, a series of regression models suggest that only the Moscow Patriarchate tends to be more conservative than other Orthodox groups and Greek-Catholics in Ukraine. Our finding adds to the previous scholarship, which often treats Eastern Christianity as a homogeneous construct. 

 

2022-01-28

Brik, T., Herasym, H., & Radiuk, I. (2022). Attitudes towards cremation in a society with fragmented religious market: mixed-method research in Ukraine. Eastern and North European Journal of Death Studies, 1(1), 110–130. Retrieved from http://enedeathstudies.ru/death/article/view/12