Ritual and Remembrance Responses to Death in Human Societies
Since the end of the last Ice Age, ten thousand or so years ago, over the period which we know as 'History', about one hundred billion people have died. Seventy million people died last year, six hundred thousand of them...
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Since the end of the last Ice Age, ten thousand or so years ago, over the period which we know as 'History', about one hundred billion people have died. Seventy million people died last year, six hundred thousand of them in the U.K. Death is on the one hand an ordinary, inevitable, everyday, predictable, mundane event. It has to be budgeted for, decisions made, and relations between the living reorganized. Half of the essays deal with this aspect of death. On the other hand, humans have always sought to transcend the mundaneness of death in burial rituals and memorials. The later essays trace the importance of the business of 'Remembrance' from early human beings, through the Icelandic Sagas to the twentieth century. A fascinating volume, with a wide general as well as academic appeal.
Since the end of the last ice Age ten thousand or so years ago, over the period that we know as 'history', about one hundred billions people have dies. Death is, on the one hand, an ordinary, inevitable, mundane event, which must be budgeted for and dealt with pragmatically. On the other hand, human beings have always endowed death and its mystery with enormous cultural significance, and have sought to transcend it through rituals and memorials of all kinds. This fascinating collections of essays provides a range of perspectives on death, encompassing literature, archaeology, law, medical ethics, music and art. Jon Davies is Head of the Department of Religious Studies in the University of Newcastle upon Tyne.
Davies is Senior Lecturer in Religious Studies at the University of Newcastle.