RNS – Mourning in Manchester, religious and secular traditions meet and meld

„The large-scale, quasi-religious expressions of mourning now seen in Manchester — and elsewhere when tragedy strikes in Britain and beyond — began 20 years ago with the death of Princess Diana in a Paris car crash. In the week after her death, crowds flocked to her home in London’s Kensington Palace, and to where her body rested in the chapel of St James’s Palace, bringing flowers and lighting candles.

“Diana’s death was the turning point. The immediate response was orchestrated by the people, rather than the churches,” said Linda Woodhead, professor of the sociology of religion at Lancaster University, who has studied these contemporary mourning rituals.”


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