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Death: a Central Theme in Religio Us Socialization

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The question, which this article deals with, is whether or not, and if so, to what extent religious socialization succeeded or failed. It focuses on the belief of life after death, which is an exemplary theme, that belongs to the very core of the Christian faith. Several religious-thanatalogical approaches within this belief are empirically investigated, like for instance the teleology, interaction, intervention, rising, deism, agnosticism, immanentism, and reincarnation models. A considerable number of factors within religious socialization, which may influence the belief in life after death, are taken into consideration, as for example parents' religiosity, religious communication in the family, religious education in school, and the influence on the level of religious knowledge. The research result is that religious socialization is a key factor in causing both the presence and (!) absence of this belief, but that the influence of the cultural context may not be overlooked: it plays an important role as well. The research population is an aselect sample, which is drawn from the student population of Nijmegen University in The Netherlands.

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