Human beings are grieving animals. ‘Consolation’, or an attempt to assuage grief, is an age-old response to loss which has various expressions in different cultural contexts. Over the past century, consolation has dropped off the West’s cultural radar. The contributions to this volume highlight this neglect of consolation in popular and academic discourses and explore the usefulness of the concept of consolation for analysing spatio-temporal constellations.

Consolationscapes in the Face of Loss brings together scholars from geography, philosophy, history, anthropology and religious studies. The chapters use spatial and conceptual mappings of grief and consolation to analyse a range of spaces and phenomena around grief, bereavement and remembrance, comfort and resilience, including battlefield memorials, crematoria, graveyards and natural burial sites in Europe. Authors shift the discussion beyond the Global North by including responses to traumatic grief in post-conflict African societies, as well as Australian Aboriginal traditions of ritual consolation.

The book focuses on the relationship between space/place and consolation. In so doing, it offers a new lens for research on death, grief and bereavement. It offers new insights for students and researchers interrogating contemporary bereavement, as well as those interested in meaning-making, emerging socio-cultural practices and their role in personal and collective resilience.

chapter |13 pages


From deathscapes to consolationscapes: spaces, practices and experiences of consolation

part I|2 pages

Reviving consolation

chapter 1|30 pages

What is consolation?

Towards a new conceptual framework

chapter 2|14 pages


Mapping grief and consolation through the lens of deceased organ donation

part II|2 pages

European constellations

chapter 5|18 pages

Emotional landscapes

Battlefield memorials to seventeenth-century Civil War conflicts in England and Scotland 1

part III|2 pages

Beyond the Global North

chapter 7|21 pages

Moving through the land

Consolation and space in Tiwi Aboriginal death rituals

chapter 8|16 pages

Rituals, healing and consolation in post-conflict environments

The case of the Matabeleland Massacre in Zimbabwe

chapter 9|15 pages

Love the dead, fear the dead

Creating consolationscapes in post-war northern Uganda

chapter 10|17 pages

‘It’s God’s will’

Consolation and religious meaning-making after a family death in urban Senegal

chapter |4 pages


Analysing consolationscapes