Chapter

Contemporary Ways of Cremation

Stephen Prothero

in Purified by Fire

Published by University of California Press

Published in print February 2001 | ISBN: 9780520208162
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520929746 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520208162.003.0008
Contemporary Ways of Cremation

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Cremation remained a scandal among conservative Christians and most Muslims in America. Michael Kubasak was very successful in “elevating” cremation. While the desire for personalization was strong with burials, it was dominant in the cremation marketplace. Some ritual innovations tested the bounds of good taste and ritual propriety. Cremation's American success can probably be attributed more to the eclipse of “forbidden death” in the 1960s than to lingering effects of the denial of death. Cremation allowed baby boomers to do death in their own way. In the future, as in the past, cremation will probably continue to be buffeted about by business concerns, but it is almost certain to continue to be a religious demonstration. As such, it will contribute not only to the history of American ritual life but also to American religious diversity.

Keywords: cremation; ritual life; religious diversity; burials; death; America; Michael Kubasak

Chapter.  10063 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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