1st Edition

Cultural, Existential and Phenomenological Dimensions of Grief Experience

Edited By Allan Køster, Ester Holte Kofod Copyright 2021
    268 Pages 2 Color & 3 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    268 Pages 2 Color & 3 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    268 Pages 2 Color & 3 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This innovative volume examines the phenomenological, existential and cultural dimensions of grief experiences. It draws on perspectives from philosophy, psychology and sociocultural studies to focus on the experiential dimension of grief, moving beyond understanding from a purely mental health and psychiatry perspective.

    The book considers individual, shared and collective experiences of loss. Chapters explore the intersections between the profound existential experiences of bereavement and how this is mediated by sociocultural norms and practices. It points to new directions for the future conceptualization and study of grief, particularly in the experiential dimension.

    Drawing on a range of interdisciplinary perspectives, this important book will appeal to academics, researchers and students in the fields of death and bereavement studies, wellbeing and mental health, philosophy and phenomenological studies.


    List of figures

    List of tables

    Contributors bios


    Ester Holte Kofod & Allan Køster

    Part 1: Phenomenologies of grief

    Part 1 introduction: Phenomenology and its application to grief and bereavement

    Allan Køster

    Chapter 1: Grief, Melancholy, and Depression: An existential phenomenology of reactions to transience

    Thomas Fuchs

    Chapter 2: What is longing? An existential-phenomenological investigation

    Allan Køster

    Chapter 3: Grief, Commitment and the Sense of Community

    Line Ryberg Ingerslev

    Chapter 4: Distorted Space, Unmoving Time – Aesthetic Practices in Bereavement

    Kathleen Higgins

    Chapter 5: Grief and the Photograph: A Phenomenology of Captured Time and Its Resonances with Death

    Kirsten Jacobson

    Chapter 6: The Interpersonal and Social Dimensions of Emotion Regulation in Grief

    Matthew Ratcliffe

    & Eleanor A. Byrne.

    Part 2: Normativities: Frictions and mediations

    Part 2 introduction: The normative mediation of experiences of loss

    Ester Holte Kofod

    Chapter 7: Continuing Bonds in the Cultural, Existential, and Phenomenological Study of Grief

    Dennis Klass

    Chapter 8: Poetic representations of parental grief

    Ester Holte Kofod

    Chapter 9: Grieving as Relearning the World is Inherently Social

    Thomas Attig

    Chapter 10: Grief Dynamics and Gendered Expectations on Expressions of Grief

    Leeat Granek

    Chapter 11: The oughtness of grief: Ontological, cultural and existential perspectives

    Alfred Bordado Sköld & Svend Brinkmann

    Chapter 12: From ineffability and cultural taboo to meaning: Making sense of sensory and quasi-sensory experiences of deceased loved ones

    Edith Maria Steffen


    Allan Køster is Senior Researcher at the National Center for Grief, Denmark, and Research Fellow at Copenhagen University Hospital, Denmark.

    Ester Holte Kofod is Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication and Psychology at the University of Aalborg, Denmark.