The role of the church in supporting people who are bereaved : a cross-cultural comparison between Norway and Kenya
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Grief is a universal reaction to a bereavement experience. Nevertheless, the universality does not imply that grief reactions are similar all over the world. Cultural, religious and personal variations result in grieving patterns that may coincide within one context, while at the same time norms of another culture may categorize such grieving as pathological. Individual differences also occur within one and the same culture. In accordance with the variations in grief reactions, the support needed will also vary. This study seeks to give a cross-cultural presentation of the church role in supporting people who are bereaved. It takes place within a specific church context in Norway and Kenya resepctively. The study examines cultural variations in grieving, main sources of support, the role of the church in supporting bereaved, and finally the diaconal justification of this support given by the church.