Navigation auf


URPP Digital Religion(s)

Eschatological Contents of Digital Mourning and Memorial Practices

Within the past few decades, human copings with the existential theme of death have also taken digital expressions. These include online memorial pages, one may call "digital cemeteries". The COVID-19 pandemic has peculiar and tragically shown that very intimate experiences as losing a beloved one are becoming more and more interwoven with digital media.

The project "Eschatological Contents of Digital Mourning and Memorial Practices" examines the understanding of death and conceptions of the afterlife being expressed on digital cemeteries, with particular reference to their spatial semantics. The aim of this project is to investigate in such spatial semantics of digital cemeteries in order to arrive - by taking intermediate steps via practical-theological and hermeneutical approaches - at a more precise, empirically informed, systematic-theological assessment regarding ideas about death and the afterlife in lived religion. This will in turn be applied to theological eschatology, especially in terms of spatial theory.

An initial, empirical step employs data corpora created by using computational linguistics (in cooperation with P1) in order to analyze selected websites of digital cemeteries for their spatial semantics. The so-found semantics will then be interpreted in the context of their spatial concepts. In a second, hermeneutical step, the data gathered in step one will be reviewed from a practical-theological perspective and finally brought into a critical-constructive dialogue with systematic-theological concepts of eschatology.

Insofar as (hybrid) religious ideas about death and the afterlife can also be observed in the context of digital cemeteries, this research project makes an important contribution to a better understanding of digitally lived religion or of hybrid religious forms of expression on the Internet. More broadly, through the analysis of digital grieving and memorial culture, the project also contributes to the question of religious and cultural transformations within the digitally coined late modern understanding of death and the afterlife.


Weiterführende Informationen

Weiterführende Informationen

30.06 - 01.07.2023: Workshop "Trauerarbeit zwischen Norm und Praxis"

Ein interdisziplinärer Workshop für Nachwuchsforschende zum Thema Trauerarbeit.

9.-10.03.2023: Tagung "Tod und Trauer: digital – analog"