Forthcoming: Handbook of Disaster Ritual

20 May 2021

The Handbook of Disaster Ritual presents an overview of relevant literature, perspectives, methods, concepts, as well as a selection of topical themes in relation to current disaster rituals. The handbook has been compiled from multi-disciplinary and geographically diverse perspectives and works with broad definitions of the concepts of both disaster and ritual.

 A disaster is defined as an event or situation that causes a significant disruption of a society or a group and evokes a collective and/or an individual reaction with expression of mourning, compassion, indignation, protest, call for justice, recovery, reconciliation, and consolation. In this working definition, it is clear that the impact of a disaster is ‘translated ritually’. Disasters bring forth a variety of ritual practices. 

The Handbook of Disaster Ritual consists of three parts. After an extensive conceptual and historiographical introduction, Part I presents several perspectives on the study of disasters and disaster rituals. In Part II, a team of international scholars presents nineteen case studies of various disasters and disaster rituals. Part III addresses various themes from the case studies that can be seen as key elements in disaster rituals. 

Martin Hoondert, Paul Post, Mirella Klomp & Marcel Barnard (eds.), Handbook of Disaster Ritual. Multidisciplinary Perspectives, Cases and Themes (= Liturgia Condenda 32). Leuven/Paris/Bristol: Peeters Publishers (forthcoming).

  • List of contents

    INTRODUCTION

    PAUL POST

    Introduction. Some conceptual and historiographical explorations on ritual and disaster

    PART I – GENERAL PERSPECTIVES

    GEORG FRERKS & DOROTHEA HILHORST

    Disaster Studies. Perspectives between nature and ritual

    SANEM YAZICIOGLU

    Event, contingency and unexpectedness in social philosophy

    ANTONY PEMBERTON

    A victimology of corona. The disaster of our times

    JOANNA WOJTKOWIAK

    Grief, trauma and meaning making after disaster

    DOUGLAS DAVIES 

    Death studies and disaster. Ritualizing and numbering numbing realities

    RAMI ISAAC & MEREL SIJM

    Restoring a negative destination image. The case of Palestine

    ERIK BORGMAN 

    Groaning inwardly while waiting for the redemption of our bodies. Toward a theology of trauma

    PART II – CASE STUDIES

    YU FUKUDA

    Coping with suffering in a memorial ceremony after the 2011 tsunami in Japan

    ANDREW J. STRATHERN & PAMELA J. STEWART

    The Pacific islands. Encounters with disaster and ritualized responses

    KEN FOOTE & TANG YONG

    The great Wenchuan earthquake of 2008. Dark tourism, seismic memorials and disaster rituals

    ALBERTINA NUGTEREN, HANS HADDERS & ROJISHA POUDEL

    Ke garne? (What can one do?). An exploration of how people ‘on the ground’ perceived the incomplete improvised mortuary rituals at Pashupatinath after the earthquake in Nepal, 2015

    BRIGITTE BENZ

    German central commemoration of the Germanwings air crash 2015

    HERMAN L. BECK

    When paradise became hell. The 2002 Bali bombings and their post-disaster ritual practices and repertoires

    BIRGIT PFEIFER & ANDRÉ MULDER

    School shootings and rituals. The case of Parkland, Florida in 2018

    LARS JOHAN DANHOLT & HANS STIFOSS-HANSSEN

    Ritualizing after the terror attacks in Norway, 22 July 2011

    PAUL POST

    ‘Refugee ritual’. Ritual practices in connection with the Mediterranean refugee crisis

    SIRI DRIESSEN

    Walking the Marš Mira. War, tourism and ritual practices in Bosnia and Herzegovina

    CELESTIN NSENGIMANA

    Genocide commemoration in Rwanda. Remembrance of the dead and the performance of missed funeral rituals

    RIMA NASRALLAH

    The Armenian genocide commemoration. A dynamic demand of memory

    MARTIN HOONDERT & SAM VAN ALEBEEK

    Blood Brothers. The Armenian genocide commemorated in art projects

    WALTER VAN BEEK & JAN-BART GEWALD

    The glory of disaster. The Herero Flag Marches

    MARCEL BARNARD & CAS WEPENER

    Commemorating the struggle against colonialism in Freedom Park, Pretoria

    DAVID CLARKE

    Making a space for ritual. Regime loyalists after the end of the German Democratic Republic

    HELEEN ZORGDRAGER

    #MeToo as a ritual response to the slow-moving disaster of sexual violence

    MIRELLA KLOMP & MARCEL BARNARD

    Ritualization in the context of the global food crisis

    ERNST M. CONRADIE

    How could Baptism cleanse us with polluted water?

    PART III – SELECTED THEMES

    TOM BENTLEY

    State apology. The simultaneously hegemonic and brittle ritual

    PAUL POST

    Relics. The ritual role of traces and remnants

    KEES DE GROOT

    Disaster theater. Play when things go awry

    ALBERTINA NUGTEREN

    Shocked in more ways than one. Media (re)presentation of improvised funerary activities after the 2015 earthquake in Nepal

    PAUL POST

    E-rituals in the corona context

    LARISSA HJORTH & KATHLEEN M. CUMISKEY

    The mobile witness. Mobile media affective witnessing during disasters

    SUZANNE VAN DER BEEK

    ‘You’ll die of old age, I’ll die of climate change!’ Children and disaster rituals

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