*** This lecture takes place in Dutch ***

Different cultural and religious traditions employ different rituals and practices in death care. Burial centers are adapting to the growing diversity in our society. Still, there is need for more conversation: what does it mean to guarantee religious and cultural freedoms in death care? Can there be legitimate reasons to overrule religious freedom in this area? Which hurdles and concerns are relevant in providing adequate death care in a multicultural society? And how are these differences to be reconciled with other societal challenges, like the ecological crisis or public health concerns? 

We welcome dr. Chaïma Ahaddour (KUL) and dr. Yvon van der Pijl (UU). The session will be moderated by Naoual El Yattouti (UA). 

Dr. Yvon van der Pijl is associate professor of cultural anthropology at Utrecht University. Her work explores the cross-cultural meaning of death and how it is dealt with in different ways. In doing so, she connects knowledge and methods from anthropology, cultural studies and ethnographic research. Yvon is particularly interested in the interaction between end-of-life issues on the one hand and the continuity and emergence of new care arrangements and pre- and post-mortem ritual practices on the other. She has conducted extensive research in Suriname and the Netherlands. Yvon is also a subject lecturer at Après la Vie Academy for funeral professionals.

Dr. Chaïma Ahaddour is professor of Islamic Ethics at the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies at KU Leuven and member of the Theological and Comparative Ethics Research Unit. She is currently chair of the Leuven Centre for the Study of Islam, Culture and Society (LCSICS). Her research focuses on Islamic ethics, 'lived religion' and issues at the beginning and end of life. Chaïma received her PhD in religious sciences from KU Leuven. Her doctoral thesis deals with attitudes, beliefs and practices around death and dying among Moroccan middle- and advanced-aged Muslim women from Antwerp, Belgium. Chaïma is currently researching Islamic perspectives on ethical issues at the beginning of life, including prenatal testing and pregnancy termination.

Naoual El Yattouti is a PhD researcher and FWO-Aspirant at the Faculty of Law of the University of Antwerp. She studied law at the University of Antwerp and spent an Erasmus semester at the Católica Global School of Law in Lisbon. In her research, Naoual focuses on multiculturalism in healthcare and some of the challenges that arise in this context. The study is twofold: first, she examines the justifications behind restricting healthcare providers from wearing religious clothing when providing care and evaluates the desirability of such bans. Secondly, her research explores the intersection of health law and discrimination law when healthcare providers face potentially discriminatory requests from patients to (not) be treated by a healthcare provider of a particular gender, race, ethnicity or religion, among others. The focus is on exploring a potential right to culturally appropriate healthcare within the framework of discrimination law.