From the 1990s the British developed an interest in natural burial, also known as woodland, green, or eco-logical burial. This continued a stream of British interest in funeral innovation from Victorian cemetery monuments through the birth and rise of cremation to the many things done with cremated remains. The book sets natural burial in the context of creative dealing with death, grief, mourning and the celebration of life. Ideas from sociology and anthropology combine with psychological issues and theological ideas to show how human emotions take shape and help people think of their own death as well as dealing with death of those they love. Douglas Davies and Hannah Rumble explore the variety of motivations for the appeal of natural burial, and use interviews with people using a special natural burial site created by the Church of England but open to all, to illustrate the spiritual understandings of life and death in the sacred, secular and mixed worlds of modern Britain.
Hannah Rumble is Research Associate at the Centre for Death and Life Studies, University of Durham, UK. She has recently completed her doctoral thesis on British natural burial provision funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. Douglas Davies is Professor in the Study of Religion in the University of Durham, UK. His numerous books on death and other aspects of Religious Studies reflect his combined skills both as an Anthropologist of Religion and Theologian. His publications include Theology of Death (Continuum, 2008), Death Ritual and Belief (Continuum, 2002, Second Edition), Brief History of Death (Blackwell, 2004), Encyclopedia of Cremation (Ashgate, 2005).