PI: Dr Christel Manning, Religious Studies, Sacred Heart University, USA
This project will explore the meaning-making narratives of non-religious Americans, both white and black, who are facing the end of life. Using a qualitative methodology, investigation will focus on two main research questions. The first pertains to content. What kinds of stories do non-religious individuals tell to make sense of death and dying? What general narrative patterns exist (in themes or structure), and what interpretive patterns exist as individuals apply a more general narrative to their own particular situation? The second research question is comparative. What are the similarities and/or differences between (1) non-religious individuals generally and religious individuals; (2) various types of non-religious individuals (atheist/humanist; spiritual/agnostic; indifferent); and (3) white Americans (who are over represented among the nonreligious) and African Americans (a group that is much less likely to be non-religious)?