Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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(861 words)

The question of how, and where, to store the bodies of the dead remained vitally important throughout the early modern period, not least because of the very high mortality rates experienced by all European societies. Three elements were invariably present: (1) the practical need to dispose of a corpse safely, (2) expression of religious belief and sepulchral culture, and (3) articulation of social status.

Burial was a matter of cultural importance because of the belief that at the Last Judgment and resurrection, God would raise the body and reunite it with the soul (Eschatology). In…

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Marshall, Peter, “Burial”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 08 December 2022 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_SIM_017542>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20160907

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