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NTT 68/1-2 – voorjaar 2014

Themanummer: Dood en Troost (dubbelnummer)

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Inhoud

  1. Christoph Jedan en Eric Venbrux – Dood en Troost: Woord vooraf
  2. Christoph Jedan – Troost door argumenten: Herwaardering van een filosofische en christelijke traditie
  3. Thomas Quartier – Dagelijks de dood voor ogen hebben: Monastieke spiritualiteit als bron van troost
  4. Mathilde van Dijk – Ziekte, dood en troost in de Late Middeleeuwen
  5. Justin E.A. Kroesen – De doodsslaapmetafoor in de Groninger grafkunst
  6. Jan R. Luth – Troost in de cantates van Johann Sebastian Bach (1685–1750): Een verkenning
  7. Tineke Nugteren – Troost en ‘troosteloosheid’ op natuurbegraafplaatsen
  8. Anne Kjærsgaard Markussen – Finding Consolation on Churchyards in Lutheran Denmark
  9. Martin J.M. Hoondert – Geruststellende klanken: Muziek en crematierituelen
  10. Brenda Mathijssen – Eschatologische hoop: Moderne doodsbeleving en theologie in dialoog
  11. Nienke Fortuin en Hans Schilderman – Troost bij het naderende levenseinde: Domeinen en modaliteiten van troost
  12. Christoph Jedan – Cruciale Teksten: De Grieks-Romeinse consolatio
  13. Boeken

 

English Summaries

Christoph Jedan:
(Troost door argumenten: Herwaardering van een filosofische en christelijke traditie)
ARGUMENTATIVE CONSOLATION: RE-EVALUATION OF A PHILOSOPHICAL AND CHRISTIAN TRADITION
The article attempts to put the undervalued cultural phenomenon of offering comfort by means of persuasive speech acts (‘arguments’) on the research agenda of the humanities. The article proceeds in four steps. First, it defines ‘argumentative consolation’. Second, it argues that there has been a broad overlap of ancient philosophical and Christian modes of argumentative consolation. Third, it would be misguided to attribute today’s uneasiness with argumentative consolation to a process of ‘secularization’; the uneasiness stems from a radicalized intensification of life that is played out against the possibility of consolation in the face of death. Fourth, the ensuing emphasis on the notions of desires, plans and projects to measure the completeness of a life is self-defeating. The article argues the continued relevance of pre-modern argumentative consolation that identified virtue as the key factor in the completeness of a biography.

Thomas Quartier:
(Dagelijks de dood voor ogen hebben: Monastieke spiritualiteit als bron van troost)
REMIND YOURSELF OF DEATH EVERY DAY: MONASTIC SPIRITUALITY AS A SOURCE OF CONSOLATION
In this article, I address the question why monastic spirituality might be inspiring for contemporary people confronted with death and looking for consolation. Instead of asking the empirical or historical question concerning the actual motives for seeking connections to a spiritual tradition, I take my cue from the perspective of spirituality studies. I explore which images and practices accompanying life, death and afterlife can be found in monastic spirituality, evoked by signals from contemporary mourning culture. The reason for choosing monastic tradition is, on the one hand, its growing popularity, and on the other hand its thanatological relevance. I analyse parts of the spiritual sources of the Regula Benedicti and the Vita Benedicti from the sixth century and try to offer some insights that can contribute to a better understanding of monastic spirituality as a source of consolation.

Mathilde van Dijk:
(Ziekte, dood en troost in de late Middeleeuwen)
ILLNESS, DEATH AND CONSOLATION IN THE LATE MIDDLE AGES
This article discusses consolation for death and suffering in the late Middle Ages in the context of three sources: a collection of biographies from the Devotio Moderna, the miracles of Saint Barbara, and the lives of Lidwina of Schiedam. Souls were at risk until the moment of death. Some survived the crossing by continuous self-improvement while others relied on Saint Barbara’s help. Suffering was seen as both useful and charitable: it lessened the time to be spent in purgatory for oneself and could be a form of imitatio Christi by saving the souls of others from purgatory. All of this helped cope with the unavoidable facts of illness and death and thus (pace Johan Huizinga) offered consolation.

Justin E.A. Kroesen:
(De doodsslaapmetafoor in de Groninger grafkunst)
DEATH AS SLEEP IN GRONINGEN FUNERARY ART
The image of death as sleep seems to be of all times and places. While its origins go back to the pre-Christian period, it is still present in many modern obituaries. It lived on even in the Calvinist tradition, despite the fierce objections which Calvin himself made against it. Its attractiveness no doubt lies in its portrayal of death as a temporary state rather than something irreversible. This article analyses how this idea has been expressed in words and images found on Protestant tombs and grave slabs in the Dutch province of Groningen from the late sixteenth to the early nineteenth century. These monuments show how the sleeping dead developed into a general idea and indeed a formula which followed its own dynamics, independent of doctrine. The precise connection between body and soul often remains indefinite.

Jan R. Luth:
(Troost in de cantates van Johann Sebastian Bach (1685–1750): Een verkenning)
CONSOLATION IN THE CANTATAS OF JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH (1685–1750): A RECONNAISSANCE
To date, no research has been done into how the concept of ‘comfort’ is used in the cantatas of Johann Sebastian Bach (1685–1750). This article is the result of an exploratory study of the meaning of ‘comfort’ in connection with death and dying. In the cantatas we find motifs also appear in various works that were part of Bach’s theological library. One example is the publication of the theologian Heinrich Müller (1631–1675), in which a strong desire emerges to be with Jesus, so strong that death itself is seen as a consolation.

Tineke Nugteren:
(Troost en ‘troosteloosheid’ op natuurbegraafplaatsen)
CONSOLATION AND ‘DESOLATION’ IN NATURAL BURIAL SITES
Many public ‘deathscapes’ in the Western world used to have neat rows of evergreens and an occasional weeping willow as culture-specific expressions of hope, consolation and proper care for the deceased. But as people change, their symbols change. In the ‘green burial’ movement we detect a preference for ‘naturalness’. Whereas those preferring natural burial sites perceive those places as encouraging therapeutic moods, and feel uplifted by their seasonal dynamics, those in favour of more ‘traditional’ disposal locations strongly object to the perceived ‘anonymity’ of unnamed graves and ‘lack of proper care’. I argue that such sites may well suit various tendencies in contemporary society and may offer, in degrees, both natural beauty and a sense of solace to the realist.

Martin J.M. Hoondert:
(Geruststellende klanken: Muziek en crematierituelen)
COMFORT MUSIC: MUSIC AND CREMATION RITUALS
The crematorium is a ritual place where people meet to grieve and take leave of the deceased. The rituals in the crematorium are the last stage in a ritual sequence intended to enable the surviving relatives to say farewell to their beloved deceased. As a place, the crematorium is determined by the architecture, the furniture, the flowers, candles and other ritual objects. Besides these material objects, which involve the eyes and the sense of smell, music enters through our ears and is able to touch us on a profound level. Music is an important element in the cremation ritual. In this article, I explore the crematorium not from a ritual or architectural perspective, but from musical perspective. Research questions are: 1. how can music console the listener; 2. which music is played in crematoria and 3. does this music console the participants in the ritual or does it have other effects? As a source, I will make use of the playlist of the Crematorium in Tilburg (the Netherlands). The main conclusion of this article is that music as part of cremation rituals can be characterized as Romantic, comfort music.

Brenda Mathijssen:
(Eschatologische hoop: Moderne doodsbeleving en theologie in dialoog)
ESCHATOLOGICAL HOPE: MODERN MOURNING RITUALS AND THEOLOGY IN DIALOGUE.
Decline of religious affiliation is a reality in Dutch society. Many people identify only partially with doctrines of faith. As contexts change, death rites are transformed and need to be ‘translated’ to be meaningful to people. Such a process of reinvention and recontextualization is difficult, as it demands a dialogue between two very different fields that influence contemporary death rites: first, the field of theology, and second, the field of contemporary lived practices and attitudes surrounding death. This article confronts mourning rituals and the traditional Christian repertoire on two topics: resurrection and the immortality of the soul. By doing so, it aims to start a dialogue between modern mourning rituals and theology.

Nienke Fortuin en Hans Schilderman:
(Troost bij het naderende levenseinde: Domeinen en modaliteiten van troost)
CONSOLATION WHEN DEATH APPROACHES: DOMAINS AND MODALITIES OF CONSOLATION
This article presents a qualitative analysis of 88 interviews with people in their last life phase. The analysis investigates how dying people are consoled. From our analysis we found two modes of consolation: active consolation (consolation accomplished by people facing death) and passive consolation (consolation received by people facing death). We also found three domains of consolation: transcendent consolation (consolation in the interaction with Someone or Something that transcends us), immanent consolation (consolation in the interaction with the world around us) and inner consolaton (consolation brought about by inner processes). Ritualizing is an active kind of consolation that aims to connect these three domains.

Christoph Jedan:
(De Grieks-Romeinse consolatio)
GREEK AND ROMAN CONSOLATION
This article argues that Greek and Roman consolatory writings form an undervalued yet crucial point of reference for theology and religious studies today. Fundamental characteristics of the Greek and Roman consolatory traditions are discussed in the light of the recently published volume Greek and Roman Consolations by Han Baltussen. Greek and Roman consolations are highly relevant for theology and religious studies for three reasons: (1) they put a neglected topic back onto the agenda; (2) they form the most elaborate and theoretically reflected material on dealing with emotions and thus provide vital information for a contextual analysis of ancient religious sources; (3) they showcase what it would mean for philosophy and theology to be recast as practice-directed fields of study, as ‘arts of living’.

 

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