Leisurely enjoying death


  • Mariske Westendorp


Death has been a subject of study for anthropologists from the very start of the discipline. Being both universal (we all die one day, and almost all of us are confronted with the death of loved ones during our lives) and particular (the meanings we ascribe to death are cultural and therefore different across the world), death is one of those subjects that lends itself well for cross-cultural comparison. The book ‘Leisure and death: An anthropological tour of risk, death, and dying’ (edited by Adam Kaul and Jonathan Skinner) therefore stands in a long tradition of anthropological enquiry into the topic of death, dying and bereavement. At the same time, however, it takes a different approach than many of the ‘anthropology of death’ publications, as the book does not put death centre stage, but takes death as a lens to delve into another topic, namely leisure.

Author Biography

Mariske Westendorp

Mariske Westendorp is an anthropologist of religion. She is currently postdoc researcher at the University of Groningen (Netherlands) in a HERA-funded research project on cemeteries and crematoria as public spaces of belonging in Western Europe.