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Purified by FireA History of Cremation in America$
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Stephen Prothero

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780520208162

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520208162.001.0001

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Contemporary Ways of Cremation

Contemporary Ways of Cremation

Chapter:
(p.188) 7 Contemporary Ways of Cremation
Source:
Purified by Fire
Author(s):

Stephen Prothero

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520208162.003.0008

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

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