, Volume 63, Issue 1, pp 105-112

Engaging in Grief Ministry in Multireligious Contexts

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Introduction

Religion, cosmological belief system, and worldview play a significant role in the grieving individual’s response to death and grief. Traditionally, one of the primary functions of religion is to provide an interpretive framework within which an event can be viewed in meaningful ways at a time of profound loss. Religious communities and rituals also have served as invaluable resources for solace and healing for the bereaved. Unfortunately, however, as Melissa M. Kelley notes in her recent book, these areas have not been fully discussed in secular grief studies. In addition, recently new theories about grief have been emerging, and the landscape of the field is changing. Ministers are on the front line of care for the bereaved need to be aware of new knowledge related to grief and bereavement (Kelley 2010, p. 3).

Because of these circumstances, there is a pressing need for a textbook on grief ministry that offers up-to-date grief theory and research. Kelley took on such a cha