Lecture series Death Care

Sooner or later, death becomes part of everybody's life. Often, conversations after death concern mourning or care for the people left behind by the deceased. But what can be said about the body of the deceased itself? 

Contemporary challenges like pandemics, the climate crisis, or multiculturality show us that we are also in need of a reconsideration of death care. What are the ethical concerns surrounding ecological burial methods, for instance? And what should a government do when religious considerations when organizing a funeral do not align with medical measures? What is the status of the dead body, and what does it entail to deal respectfully with human remains? 

In four lectures we invite the audience to listen and talk to researchers about these challenges. Participation is free. All sessions will be in Dutch, apart from the second lecture (18/03), which will be held in English. 

  • 19/02/2024: Dealing with human remains, with Maarten Larmuseau, Marie-Sophie de Clippele and Tamara Ingels (Dutch)
  • 18/03/2024: Death care in times of crisis, with Halina Suwalowska, Joanna Wojtkowiak, and Sarah Ouwerkerk (English)
  • 15/04/2024: Intercultural rituals and death care, with Yvon van der Pijl, Chaïma Ahaddour and Naoual El Yattouti (Dutch)
  • 27/05/2024: The green death, with Lisa Doeland, Brenda Mathijssen, and Evy Kempenaers (Dutch)

This series is part of an interdisciplinary research project surrounding death care, which is developed in collaboration with the Belgian funeral sector, in close conversation with different religious communities in Belgium. The involved researchers are sociologists, law scholars, philosophers and anthropologists of the KULeuven, The Institute for Tropical Medicine and the University of Antwerp. With the lectures, the organizers hope to offer a starting point for more scientific and societal reflection on the topic of death care. 


Martha Claeys