Secularist death in Britain had carved itself a viable place in society by the end of the nineteenth century. Whilst it had made escaping theistic services and burial possible for its own adherents it did not move forward into a ‘promised land’ of widely practiced secular and secularist approaches to death. Christianity and other non-rational approaches to death rapidly remade their messages about death and the hereafter and created a ‘marketplace of comfort’ where they hoped to attract adherents with new types of theological and philosophical offering. Secularists had to adapt to this new world and by the end of the 20th century had themselves grasped the essence of what the ‘marketplace of comfort’ could provide. In doing so the actively rational message in secular funeral provision began to be less important than the satisfactory and flexible forms of comfort it could offer to individuals.
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences\Department of History, Philosophy and Culture
Year of publication: 2018Date of RADAR deposit: 2018-05-10