Interdisciplinary researcher specialized in the research, education, and advising in the field of existential and spiritual care with a focus on meaning making, new rituals, life and death experiences, and grief. In the last 15 years, I have been studying questions of meaning in Western societies from an interdisciplinary perspective (mostly cultural psychology, ritual studies, worldview/ spirituality studies, philosophy & anthropology). Questions, such as “how is meaning-in-life related to tragic events of loss and suffering, but also moments of joy and empowerment?”, “what are social and cultural expressions of existential concerns and transitions?”, “how is meaning expressed in embodied, relational, and performative ways?” , “what is the meaning of ritual transformation in individual and collective rituals?” are central to my work.
Recently, I have been studying existential concerns at the start of life: what does our origin mean to us? What is the meaning of our beginning? How is the start of life ritualized? By comparing and contrasting existential concerns at birth and death I try to unravel processes of meaning, with specific focus on embodiment and relationality. In the past, I have studied concepts of symbolic immortality (notions of a “postself”), ethics of end-of-life decision-making and the role of secular or personal spirituality. Other research interests are: identity theory, relational and narrative perspectives, ritual as intervention/method used in pastoral care, interdisciplinary research and mixed-methods.