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Funeral Festivals in AmericaRituals for the Living$
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Jacqueline S. Thursby

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780813123806

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813123806.001.0001

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(p.1) Prologue
Funeral Festivals in America

Jacqueline S. Thursby

University Press of Kentucky

Contemporary American funerals often assume the character and roles of festival. This represents a paradox in conflict with traditional perceptions of ritual behaviors associated with death. Being a complex civilization made up of its own indigenous people and multitudes of cultures from around the world, the U.S. has reinvented the response to death. Instead of focusing on separation, death and the funerary rituals surrounding it have become a place for renewal and reaffirmed connectedness between family and friends of the deceased.

Keywords:   funerals, U.S., festivals, ritual behaviors, complex civilization, death, funerary rituals

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