Customs and Traditions in Times of Death and Bereavement (3rd Edition)

This booklet provides general information on bereavement & funeral customs in different religions & cultures, including: the Blackfoot Confederacy, Buddhism, China, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Eastern Orthodox, Hinduism, Hutterite, Muslim, Jehovah Witness, Judaism, Mennonite, Protestant, Roman Catholic, & Sikhism. A glossary defines a number of terms associated with bereavement & funerals.

A Taoist Orientation and Mental Health in Kuwaiti and American Students

In two studies of American & Kuwaiti students, scores on a measure of having a Taoist orientation were associated with less psychopathology on measures of anxiety, death anxiety, existential anxiety, optimism-pessimism, suicidality, & obsessive-compulsiveness. (9 refs.)

A Buddhist Approach to Suicide Prevention

The majority of the Thai population is Buddhists and Buddhism has a great deal of influence on their mind, character, way of life, and health, particularly mental health. According to the Four Noble Truths (Cattări ariyasaccani), suicide is a form of suffering that is originated from craving (Tanhă). Therefore, human beings cannot avoid suffering by […]

Suicide in a Cultural History Perspective, Part 3. Other Cultures


Suicide, Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia: a Buddhist Perspective

For comments on this article, please see SIEC #2004-0224 & #2004-0225

A Response to Damien Keown’s Suicide, Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia: a Buddhist Perspective

For the original article by D Keown, please see SIEC #2004-0223. For a related commentary on the Keown article, please see SIEC #2004-0225

A Response to Damien Keown’s Suicide, Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia: a Buddhist Perspective

For the original article by D Keown, please see SIEC #2004-0223. For a related commentary on the Keown article, please see SIEC #2004-0224.

Suicide and Brain Death: a Study of Contemporary Japanese Spirituality and Identity

This article discusses the spiritual crisis facing contemporary Japanese people. The author explores how modernization has pervaded Japanese people & how it has affected their attitude toward religion, as well as their identity in the context of history. The author then explores Japanese spirituality & the sense of self, which is characterized by the coexistence […]

The British Rule and the Practice of Sati in Gujarat

This article discusses the practice of Sati that occurred in India under British rule, with particular attention paid to the measures undertaken by the British government to end the practice.

Changing Hindu Attitudes to Cremation in the UK

Although the author’s research was carried out mainly in the United Kingdom, it has relevance in most countries in which Hindus are a minority of the population. It shows that ignoring the norms of other cultures can cause needless distress to families before & after bereavement. On the other hand, by showing sensitivity & respect […]

An Investigation Into Resilience and Suicide in Japan’s Elderly (IN: Suicide and Euthanasia in Older Adults: a Transcultural Journey, edited by D De Leo)

Buddhist Views of Suicide and Euthanasia

The author explores Japanese Buddhist views of life and death and attitudes towards suicide and euthanasia. Emphasizes the traditional Japanese belief that the manner of dying at the moment of death is very important, and that personal choice in time and manner of death is even more so. Explores the implications which these beliefs hold […]

The Influence of Religious Culture in Palliative Care Influencia de la cultura religiosa en los cuidados paliativos

This article is an English translation. The original Spanish text is also available.

The Jaina Ethic of Voluntary Death

This article examines attitudes towards the practice of assisted suicide in India & the United States with brief references to historical accounts of assisted suicide in both countries. Some of the Indian community’s own reflections on the bioethical implications of euthanasia are presented. Constitutional issues that have been raised in legal deliberations on the fundamental […]

Did Someone say ‘Spirituality’?: Belief and Suicide Prevention

This presentation examined how spiritual belief can be a key protective factor against youth suicide. It explored why more traditional mental health models have tended to ignore spiritual issues & looked at Buddhist influences on cognitive behavioural therapy. It also asked whether a focus on suicide can be counterproductive in the suicide prevention effort.

Attitude Towards Death and Suicide Among Hindustan Surinam Migrants in The Netherlands

This presentation summary notes that in Hindu religion, suicide disturbs the cosmic balance & equilibrium of society. It identifies changes that have occurred for Hindu migrants to The Netherlands but notes that the taboo on suicide has remained thus necessitating involvement by both western professional helpers & Hindu priests in overcoming the impact of suicidal […]


The author of this article reviews suicide rates in India and attempts to explore why these rates are increasing. The author also compares suicide rates in India with other countries as well as between different areas of India. Also, various theories of suicide and how they can help explain the rise in the suicide rate […]

Japanese Suicide (IN: Suicidology: Essays in Honor of Edwin S. Shneidman, edited by A A Leenaars)

The issue of suicide in Japan is reviewed as being a traditionally accepted way of solving serious problems. The author uses Dr. Shneidman’s personological and contextualist perspective to facilitate our understanding of Japanese suicide and to give insight unattainable from the usual statistical correlational studies. (44 refs.)

Mourning in Different Cultures (IN: Living Beyond Loss. Death in the Family, ed. by M McGoldrick & F Walsh)

In this chapter, six different cultural patterns for dealing with death & the implications for family intervention with each are discussed. Mourning patterns for Irish, Hindu Indian, African-American, Puerto Rican, Jewish & Chinese cultures are presented. Counsellors are advised to ascertain beliefs about how the dying & dead are handled, what happens after death, appropriate […]

Self-Determination: Lessons to be Learnt From Social Work Practice in India: a Comment

The author comments on an article by Ejaz on social work practice in India. Ejaz’s identification of Karma with fatalism is criticized as misleading. The law of Karma can make a unique contribution to bereavement counseling. The usefulness of the law of Karma is that it brings a sense of containment rather than control. A […]

Sati, Women’s Status and Religious Fundamentalism

This article describes the origins & the 20th century practice of sati–or the immolation of a wife at her husband’s funeral pyre. The author criticizes the religious underpinnings of this ritual, as well as the social stereotypes of men & women in Indian society which have allowed sati to continue. The historical period of a […]

Buddha and Self-Destruction (IN: Essays in Self-Destruction, ed. by E S Shneidman)

In Buddhism, only those who abandon all life can escape the futile cycle of life, death, & rebirth, yet Buddist teaching denounces suicide. The author examines death concepts in Buddhism, which has discovered a psychophysical therapy that uses regression to reduce childhood guilt, modifies the fear of death & by psychosomatic exercise removes the barriers […]

Suicide & Parasuicide in a Hill Resort in Malaysia

This study examines suicide & parasuicide in a district of Malaysia in terms of demographic characteristics, reasons, & methods. Findings include: a high rate of suicide among Indians, 94% of suicides & 66% of parasuicides were by ingesting agricultural poisons, & the peak for both suicide & parasuicide in females occurred in the 20-24 age […]