Solomon, S., Testoni, I., & Bianco, S.
Clash of civilizations? Terror Management Theory and the role of the ontological representations of death in contemporary global crisis
According to the Terror Management Theory (TMT; Greenberg, Pyszczynski, & Solomon, 1986), the psychological conflict resulting from humans’ having a desire to live, but realizing that death is inevitable, gives rise to potentially debilitating existential terror that is managed by embracing cultural belief systems and adhering to the standards of value associated with them. The present article considers one psychosocial effect of this dissonance: the contemporary discord between Western and Middle-Eastern cultures. The role of religion and secularism in contemporary intercultural hostilities, which characterizes the contemporary global crisis, is investigated, starting from a consideration of the role of ontological representations of death in the construction of cultural worldviews that provide a sense of meaning and value and afford opportunities to obtain literal and symbolic immortality.Back