Religion Past and Present

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I. History and Law – II. Practical Theology

I. History and Law

In antiquity, cremation was widespread. Christianity, however, following a Jewish model, preferred interment (Burial: V). By the middle of the third century ce, cremation disappeared almost entirely across the Roman Empire, and Charlemagne prohibited it in 785. For the next millennium cremation remained the exception, surfacing in circumstances of mass deaths. Only under the influence of the Enlightenment was it reintroduce…

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Rutherford, Richard and de Wall, Heinrich, “Cremation”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 23 January 2022 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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