chapter  30
Buying an afterlifebuying an afterlife
Mapping religious beliefs through consumer death goods 1
ByCandi K. Cann
Pages 16

Choosing to have a body embalmed, the choice of interment locations and type, including the selection of a particular casket, are all deeply intertwined with various understandings of the afterlife, and views of the body after death. Consumer choices in these cases are often determined by imagined embodiment, and are determined in part by non-rational consumer choices based on religious upbringing and belief. In turn, diasporic and religious identity can be reinforced and solidified through consumer choices that then fulfill religious imaginations of post-death embodiment. This article traces the relationship of consumer death goods in the contemporary United States with both the implicit and explicit relationships these material goods have with religious worldviews on consumer death choices.